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V. Prophecy in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

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The Testaments of the twelve Patriarchs
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1 I. Introduction
2 II. Opinions about the Testaments
3 III. Critical Observations on the Nature and Discovery of the Testaments
4 IV. The Original Forefathers and Jacob's Twelve Sons
5 V. Prophecy in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
6 Notes and References


V. Prophecy in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs contain a substantial amount of prophecy concerning the coming of the Messiah. While all versions acknowledge that the Messiah will come, opinions vary as to His true identity and role. According to Christians, the apocalyptic passages found in the Testaments can be associated with events in the life of Jesus. To the Jews, the apocalyptic passages are either Christian, or Maccabean interpolations, and the reference to the Messiah point to John Hyrcanus of the Maccabees. Below are summaries and analyses of the Testaments of the patriarchs, with a few quoted passages. Only one version of the many translations is summarized for each patriarch [Source: Early Christian Writings], and a second version is listed as reference. Additional summaries [of analyses]by The Jewish Encyclopedia writers are listed below each translation summary, and contain the writers' opinions. Also, the bracketed information shown inside these passages had already been placed within the text. [See Footnotes and References for other translations of the Testaments.]


A. Prophecy in Reuben

1. From "Early Christian Writings" - Reuben warns his sons against the evils of women and urge them to flee from fornication and remain pure in mind. In regards to the Messiah, he says that they "will be jealous against the sons of Levi, and will seek to be exalted 6 over them," but then tells that that they will not be able. Reuben further says that God gave the sovereignty to Levi, to Judah, to him, to Dan and to Joseph for "they should be rulers". He commands his sons to "hearken to Levi, because he shall know the law of the Lord, and shall give ordinances for judgement and shall sacrifice for all Israel until the consummation of the times, as the anointed High Priest, of whom the Lord spake." He adds later that Levi will bless Israel and Judah, because "him hath the Lord chosen to 12 be king over all the nation. And bow down before his seed, for on our behalf it will die in wars visible and invisible, and will be among you an eternal king." [1]. See also [2].

2. From "The Jewish Encyclopedia"- Here Reuben relates, near the outset of his discourse, his incestuous crime with Bilhah and his ensuing suffering and later repentance and forgiveness. He give strict warning, therefore, against lustful thoughts which work iniquity. Reuben warns against the jealousy of the tribe of Levi, who, they analyze, "was the priest that gave instruction in the Law, and the judge that offered up the sacrifices for Israel, blessed the people whom he ruled with Judah, and gave his life for them in wars visible and invisible, thus reestablishing the kingdom for all time (comp. Targ. Yer. to Deut. xxxiii. 11 with reference to John Hyrcanus). The writers say that Ch. iv., on the seven evil spirits, seems a later interpolation. The fall of the angels in the legend of Enoch, on the other hand, is used (ch. v.-vi.a; comp. Enoch viii., xvi. 3; Jubilees vii. 21; 'Ab. Zarah 20b; Targ. Yer. to Gen. vi. 2; I Cor. xi. 10) to warn women against captivating men by their adornments of head and face. Even the longing for licentiousness ("zenut") is destructive(comp. Job xxxi. 1; Prov. vii. 26-27), to say nothing of licentious conduct. Joseph, however, was protected against lustful thought in the hour of temptation by his singleness of heart in the fear of God.[3]

B. Prophecy in Simeon

1. From "Early Christian Writings" - In this translation, Simeon warns his sons against the spirit of deceit and evy. He uses himself as an example when he discusses his involvement in the crime against Joseph. Simeon says, "if you remove from you envy and all stiff-neckedness,...my bones shall flourish in Israel, And as a lily my flesh in Jacob." He predicts that the Israelites will be the victors against the tribes of the Cannanites, Amalekites, Hittites and Cappadocians due to their obedience to God, and says "the Mighty One of Israel shall glorify Shem, For the Lord God shall appear on earth, And Himself save men." After this glorious event, he says, "6 Then shall all the spirits of deceit be given to be trodden under foot, And men shall rule over wicked spirits. 7 Then shall I arise in joy, And will bless the Most High because of his marvellous works, [Because God hath taken a body and eaten with men and saved men]." Reuben strongly urges his sons to obey Levi and Judah, and not be lifted up against them, "for 2 from them shall arise unto [them] the salvation of God. 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], He shall save all [the Gentiles 3 and] the race of Israel." [4][see also [5]]

2. From "The Jewish Encyclopedia"- Here the writers say, "In the first four chapters of his Testament, Simeon dwells on the spirit of jealousy with which Satan, the 'sar ha-mastemah' of the Jubilees, had filled him so that he had hated his brother Joseph and had plotted his murder, being prevented only by Judah, who had sold Joseph as a slave while Simeon was absent. He thereby warns his children against jealousy, and 'exhorts them (ch. iv.-v.) to emulate Joseph, who loved his brothers, though they had hated him;. This is followed by his prediction that "their holy ones will multiply, and their branches will spread afar." In this analysis, "the testament ends as Simeon warns them against starting a war of rebellion against the Maccabean dynasty which is 'represented by the priestly tribe of Levi and by the victorious royal leader from the midst of Judah.'" [6]

Jdgray 23:08, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

C. Prophecy in Levi

1. From "Early Christian Writings" - Levi's testament is the most lengthy and most apocalyptic. Early in the testament and just before giving his prophecy concerning the Messiah, Levi speaks of feeding the flocks in Abel-Maul when the Spirit of understanding of the Lord came upon him and showed him how all men "were corrupting their way, and that unrighteousness had built for itself walls, and lawlessness 4 sat upon towers". Levi then tells his sons how he prayed to be saved, ascended into the glorious heavens from a mountain, and received his appointment from God to become a priest for the nation. He says that the heavens opened and an angel of God invited him to enter. [This vision is extremely beautiful.] Levi says that his other mission, as given to him by God, will be to "proclaim concerning Him that shall redeem Israel". This part of the Testament becomes even more prophetic when the he says that the Angel tells him, "And by thee and Judah shall the Lord appear among men Saving every race of men". Then he says that the angel promises him a blessing that will be given to him and to all his seed, "Until the Lord shall visit all the Gentiles in His tender mercies for ever".

Further along, God also tells Levi that his seed shall be "divided into three offices, for a sign of the glory of the Lord who is to come. And the first portion shall be great.... The second shall be in the priesthood. 14 And the third shall be called by a new name, because a king shall arise in Judah, and shall 15 establish a new priesthood, after the fashion of the Gentiles [to all the Gentiles]. And His presence is beloved, as a prophet of the Most High, of the seed of Abraham our father." Levi tells his sons how they will stretch out their hands against the Lord and then become a scorn to all the Gentiles, causing the temple to be laid waste and causing them to become captives throughout all the nations. Again Levi says concerning the Messiah, "1 And after their punishment shall have come from the Lord, the priesthood shall fail. 2 Then shall the Lord raise up a new priest. And to him all the words of the Lord shall be revealed; And he shall execute a righteous judgement upon the earth for a multitude of days. 3 And his star shall arise in heaven as of a king." [ http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/patriarchs-charles.html][See also [ http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf08.iii.v.html]]


2. From the Jewish Encyclopedia: [The writers divide their analysis of Levi's Testament into two parts: Hasidaean and Maccabean.]

(a) The Hasidaean Testament of Levi - Here, the writers conclude that "the Testament of Levi is incomplete at the beginning and at the close, and contains two different accounts of his election to the priesthood, the Hasidæn version being spiritual in character, and the Maccabean political. According to the Hasidaean version, when a youth of twenty, [Levy] was filled with sorrow for the iniquity and corruption of men, whereupon God answered his prayer for salvation by sending him an angel who showed him the throne of the Most High in the third heaven. 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. viii.) the seven insignia of priesthood were conferred upon him by seven angels, who anointed him with pure oil and consecrated him, since his seed was to be divided into the three kingdoms of the priests, the judges and scribes, and the guardians of the sanctuary. Levi admonishes his children to walk in the way of the Law in all simplicity of heart and in the fear of God. This exhortation is followed by a eulogy of wisdom, and the address closes with the words: 'If a man teach these things and do them, he shall sit upon a throne with the king, as did our brother Joseph.'"

(b) Maccabean Testament of levi - According to this version (comp. Jubilees xxx. 17-23), "Levi's act of vengeance upon Shechem fitted him for the priesthood (ch. v.-vii. and part of ch. viii.), for Michael, the angel who intercedeth for the race of Israel, bestowed upon him a shield and a sword with which he should wreak vengeance on Shechem for Dinah. The three kingdoms that were to spring from Levi were distinct from the three classes mentioned above, being Moses, Aaron, and John Hyrcanus. The writers here state that "the royal priest is like Melchizedek (Ps. cx. 4) and is to manifest his [Melchizedek's] prophetic power (comp. Josephus, "B. J." i. 2, § 8; Tosef., Soṭah, xiii. 5)." Ch. x. and xiv.-xvii., they write, is "devoted to the corruption and depravity of the priesthood under Alexander Jannæus." The further say, "The Messianic prophecy in ch. xviii. seems to belong to the older Hasidæan document, and its Messiah opens the gates of paradise to the saints while he overcomes Belial with his hosts." [1]

D. Prophecy in Judah

1. From "Early Christian Writings" - Judah's Testament is very focused on the sins of lust and fornication, two things which he tells his son he was a victim of. Reuben first relates how he honors his mother and his mother's sister. He says that later, when he was a man, he received a blessing from his father which stated, "Thou shalt be a king, prospering in all things." Judah says, "for the sake of money and beauty he was led astray and that his race will fall into wickedness for the same thing. For even wise men among my sons shall they [women] mar, and shall cause the kingdom of Judah to be diminished, which 4 the Lord gave him because of his obedience to his father." Judah says that he never caused grief to Jacob, his 5 father so he was therefore blessed to be king in Israel, by God and by both Isaac and Jacob. He states, "And I know that from me shall the kingdom be established."

Judah goes on to say, "Now I have much grief, my children, because of your lewdness and witchcrafts, and idolatries which ye shall practise against the kingdom, following them that have familiar spirits, diviners, and 2 demons of error…. 24 1 And after these things shall a star arise to you from Jacob in peace, And a man shall arise 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. 2 and the heavens shall be open unto him, To pour out the spirit, (even) the blessing of the Holy Father; 3 And He shall pour out the spirit of grace upon you; And ye shall be unto Him sons in truth, And ye shall walk in His commandments first and last. 4 This Branch of God Most High, And this Fountain giving life unto all. 5 Then shall the sceptre of my kingdom shine forth; And from your root shall arise a stem; 6 And from it shall grow a rod of righteousness to the Gentiles, To judge and to save all that call upon the Lord." [2] [See also [ http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf08.iii.vi.html]]


2. From The Jewish Encyclopedia" - According to this analysis of Judah's Testament, "Judah narrates to his children (ch. i.-vii., ix.) the feats of strength which he, who was, like David, destined to be a king, had displayed in his youth." "Judah," they state, "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." Near the end he tells his sons that Satan is the cause of sin, so they must choose between the Lord, the Spirit of Truth, and the Spirit of Error. The writers say that Judah's "address closes (ch. xxii. 24-25) with a Messianic prophecy which emphasizes Judah's lasting claim to the resurrection of the saints, the triumph of the poor and the martyrs, and the burning of Belial and all his hosts. In sharp contrast to this Judaic or Davidic prophecy stand the accentuation of the Levitic or Maccabean royalty (ch. xxi.) and the references to its hero (ch. xxv.)." The writers further state that "These are obviously interpolations by the Maccabean reviser, and ch. xxiii. is a still later insertion." [3]

E. Prophecy in Zebulun

1. From: "Early Christian Writings" - Zebulin, says, "3 Hearken to me, ye sons of Zebulun, attend to the words of your father. I, Zebulun, was born a good gift to my parents. 9 1 Observe, therefore, the waters, and know when they flow together, they sweep along stones, trees, 2 earth, and other things. But if they are divided into many streams, the earth swalloweth them up, 3, 4 and they vanish away. So shall ye also be if ye be divided. Be not ye, therefore, divided into two heads, for everything which the Lord made hath but one head, and two shoulders, two 5 hands, two feet, and all the remaining members. For I have learnt in the writing of my fathers, that Ye shall be divided in Israel, And ye shall follow two kings, And shall work every abomination. 6 And your enemies shall lead you captive, And ye shall be evil entreated among the Gentiles, With many infirmities and tribulations. 7 And after these things ye shall remember the Lord, and repent, [And He shall cause you to return]; for He is merciful and compassionate. And He setteth not down in account evil to the sons of men, because they are flesh, And the spirits of deceit deceive them in all their deeds. 8 "And after these things there shall arise unto you the Lord Himself, the light of righteousness, [And healing and compassion shall be in His wings. He shall redeem all the captivity of the sons of men from Beliar; And every spirit of deceit shall be trodden down]; And he shall bring back all the Gentiles into zeal for Him. And ye shall return unto your land. And ye shall see Him in Jerusalem, for His name's sake. 9 And again through the wickedness of your works shall ye provoke Him to anger, And ye shall be cast away by Him unto the time of consummation." [4] [See also [5]]


2. From "The Jewish Encyclopedia" - The writers here say, "Zebulun Ḥasidically typifies the fisherman who supplies the household with fish and gives of his store to the stranger, the sick, the aged, and the needy that he may be blessed by God for his compassion (ch. vi.). He tells his children, moreover, that it was his deep compassion for Joseph which restrained Simeon and Gad from bloodshed. They also state that Zebulun admonishes his children to show mercy to all men, not bear a grudge or malice toward any, but love one another, using Joseph as their model. In their analysis, "The address [Testament] closes (ch. ix.) with a warning against dissensions in Israel, since they would lead to a division of the kingdom and to dispersion among the Gentiles, and with an expression of his longing for the Messianic period, when Belial and his hosts should be trodden under foot and God alone should reign in Jerusalem as the sun of righteousness with the healing of compassion on its wings." [6]


F. Prophecy in Isachar

1. From "Early Christian Writings" - Isachar says, "3 1 When, therefore, I grew up, my children, I walked in uprightness of heart, and I became a husbandman for my father and my brethren, and I brought in fruits from the field according to 2, 3 their season. And my father blessed me, for he saw that I walked in rectitude before him. And 4 I was not a busybody in my doings, nor envious and malicious against my neighbour. The patriarch then also says, "7…. And Levi and Judah were glorified by the Lord even among the sons of Jacob; for the Lord gave them an inheritance, and to Levi He gave the priesthood, and to Judah the kingdom. 8 And do ye therefore obey them, and walk in the singleness of your father;..." [7] [See also [8]]


2. From "The Jewish Encyclopedia" - The writers say that "Issachar represents himself to his children as one who walked all his life in simplicity and that "he accordingly admonishes his children (ch. iv.-vii.) to walk in simplicity, and to refrain from envy and all lustful thoughts, prying into no secrets, but loving God and man, and filled with compassion for the poor and feeble. [An interesting and noteworthy comment appears in their analysis at this point: "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."] The analysts go on to say that "the passage in ch. v., which emphasizes the supremacy of Levi and Judah as priest and ruler, contains no indication of late Maccabean influence (comp. Targ. Yer. to Gen. xlix. 14-15; Gen. R. xcix. 11)." [9]


G. Prophecy in Dan

1. From "Early Christian Writings" - Dan says regarding future events, "4 I know that in the last days ye shall depart from the Lord, And ye shall provoke Levi unto anger, And fight against Judah; But ye shall not prevail against them, For an angel of the Lord shall guide them both; For by them shall Israel stand. 5 And whensoever ye depart from the Lord, ye shall walk in all evil and work the abominations of the Gentiles, going a-whoring after women of the lawless ones, while with all wickedness the spirits 6 of wickedness work in you. [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 attend constantly on the sons of Levi, to cause them to sin before the Lord. 7 And my sons will draw near to Levi. And sin with them in all things; And the sons of Judah will be covetous, Plundering other men's goods like lions.] 8 Therefore shall ye be led away [with them] into captivity, And there shall ye receive all the plagues of Egypt, And all the evils of the Gentiles. 9 And so when ye return to the Lord ye shall obtain mercy, And He shall bring you into His sanctuary, And He shall give you peace. 10 And there shall arise unto you from the tribe of [Judah and of] Levi the salvation of the Lord; And he shall make war against Beliar. And execute an everlasting vengeance on our enemies; 11 And the captivity shall he take from Beliar [the souls of the saints], And turn disobedient hearts unto the Lord, And give to them that call upon him eternal peace…. 13 And no longer shall Jerusalem endure desolation, Nor Israel be led captive; For the Lord shall be in the midst of it [living amongst men], And the Holy One of Israel shall reign over it [in humility and in poverty; and he who believeth on Him shall reign amongst men in truth]. Dan further tells his sons to "fear the Lord and beware of Satan and his spirits". He says, " Draw near unto God and unto the angel that intercedeth for you, for he is a mediator between God and man, and for the 3 peace of Israel he shall stand up against the kingdom of the enemy. Therefore is the enemy eager 4 to destroy all that call upon the Lord. For he knoweth that upon the day on which Israel shall 5 repent, the kingdom of the enemy shall be brought to an end.For the very angel of peace shall 6 strengthen Israel, that it fall not into the extremity of evil. 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 7 that doeth His will, for none of the angels will be equal unto him. And His name shall be in every place in Israel, and among the Gentiles." [10] [See also [11]]

2. From "The Jewish Encyclopedia" - The analysts write, "Dan accordingly warns his children (ch. ii.-v.a) against anger, since it heeds neither parent, nor brother, nor prophet, nor righteous man, nor friend. Therefore his children are exhorted to refrain from anger either at spoken words or at misfortunes, lest they should be overcome by Belial and the Lord should depart from them, the lesson of the Testament being that they should flee from wrath and love God and man in order that the Lord might dwell among them and Belial be driven from them." [12]

H- Prophecy in Naphtali

1. From "Early Christian Writings" - The Patriarch Naphtali says "8. Behold, my children, I have shown unto you the last times, that all shall come to pass in Israel. Do ye also therefore charge your children that they be united to Levi and to Judah. For through Judah shall salvation arise unto Israel, and in Him shall Jacob be blessed. For through his tribe shall God be seen dwelling among men on the earth, to save the race of Israel, and He shall gather together the righteous from the Gentiles." Naphtali further instucts his sons to "Be ye therefore wise in God, and prudent, understanding the order of the commandments, and the laws of every work, that the Lord may love you. 4. These things I say, my children, for I have read in the holy writing of Enoch that ye yourselves also will depart from the Lord, walking according to all wickedness of the Gentiles, and 28ye will do according to all the iniquity of Sodom. And the Lord will bring captivity upon you, and there shall ye serve your enemies, and ye shall be covered with all affliction and tribulation, until the Lord shall have consumed you all. And after that ye shall have been diminished and made few, ye will return and acknowledge the Lord your God; and He will bring you back into your own land, according to His abundant mercy. [13] [See also [14]]


2. From "The Jewish Encyclopedia" - It is stated here that, "Naphtali served his father, Jacob, as a messenger; and in the father's grief at the loss of Joseph he was comforted by Naphtali, who told him of two dreams in which the future greatness of Levi, Judah, and Joseph had been revealed to him (ch. v.-vi.). The analysts assert, however, that "the text is extremely corrupt, and must be corrected on the basis of the Hebrew "Testament of Naphtali" discovered by Gaster in the "Chronicles of Jerahmeel" and reproduced in a German translation by Schnapp, in Kautzsch, "Apocryphen," ii. 489-492." The writers mention a section that is followed by "the apocalyptic part, in which Maccabean elements referring to the supremacy of Levi seem again to be mingled with Hasidæan tenets." [15]

I. Prophecy in Gad

1. From "Early Christian Writings" - Gad says, "And the spirit of hatred was in me, and I wished not either to hear of Joseph with the ears, or see him with the eyes because he rebuked us to our faces saying that we were eating of the flock without Judah." After speaking of his own acts of transgression, and warning his sons about the corrupting and blinding influence of the spirit of hatred ["For it will not hear the words of His [God's] commandments concerning the loving of one's neighbour, 3 and it sinneth against God."], Gad tells his sons, "8 1 Do ye also therefore tell these things to your children, that they honour Judah and Levi, for from 2 them shall the Lord raise up salvation to Israel. [For I know that at the last your children shall depart from Him, and shall walk in all wickedness, and affliction and corruption before the Lord.]" [See also [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf08.iii.xi.html]


2. From "The Jewish Encyclopedia" - It says here that Joseph "was too delicate to stay with the flock in the heat of the day and went home to his father, whom he informed that Gad and the other sons of the two concubines were eating lambs that had been torn by wild beasts and had not been slaughtered either by Judah or by Reuben according to the prescribed rule (comp. Targ. Yer. to Gen. xxxvii. 2; Pirḳe R. El. xxxviii.; Gen. R. lxxxiv. 7). This so provoked Gad that he hated Joseph, and, like Simeon, wished to kill him, being eager "to devour him as the calf devours the grass. His hatred finally brought upon him a disease of the heart which lasted for eleven months, the length of time that he entertained this feeling of enmity before he repented and his father's prayers saved him from death (ch. i.-ii. 5). He therefore warns his children against the spirit of hatred which fills the heart with poison, and allies itself with Satan and with every evil, leading to all manner of impiety and death, while love effects the salvation of man. As its concluding words this Testament contains a totally irrelevant passage concerning Judah and Levi." [16]

J. Prophecy in Asher

1. From "Early Christian Writings" - After Asher had revealed to his sons, his own iniquities and had told them, amongh other things, how to behave uprightly before the Lord, he like the others, prophecied about the coming of the Messiah. Asher beings this prophecy by telling them how the nation "shall be set at nought in the dispersion vanishing away as water until the Most High shall visit the earth, coming Himself [as man, with men eating and drinking, and breaking the head of the dragon in the water. He shall save Israel and all the Gentiles [God speaking in 4 the person of man]." [17] See also [18]


2. From "The Jewish Encyclopedia" - The analysts say, "It is possible that the Testament of Asher is defective, since the only reference to his own personal experience is found in ch. v., where he says that he observed life and sought out the commandments of God, only to find that the two ways of light and darkness, of good and evil, and of truth and error must ever be kept distinct, for doublefacedness serves not God but Belial (ch. iii.)." It is stated that Asher says, "Follow the truth with singleness of face and hate the spirits of error, etc., distinguishing the angels of the Lord and of Satan" (ch. vi.; comp. II Cor. xi. 14), and it closes with a brief apocalyptic passage predicting the exile and the restoration." [19]


K. Prophecy in Joseph

1. From "Early Christian Writings" - In the translation, when Joseph was about to die, he too gathered his sons to himself and told them about his many trials and tribulations that he encountered as a young boy and as an adult, thelling them, "Give ear, my sons, unto your father. 3 I have seen in my life envy and death, Yet I went not astray, but persevered in the truth of the Lord." Joseph places gret stress on humility and how men should walk in the commandments of the Lord in order to be blessed by Him. Joseph gradually goes into the prophetic vision concerning the advent and triumph of the Messiah. About this vision, Joseph says, "19 1 Hear ye, therefore, my vision which I saw. 2 I saw twelve harts feeding. And nine of them were dispersed. Now the three were preserved, but on the following day they also were dispersed. 3 And I saw that the three harts became three lambs, and they cried to the Lord, and He brought them forth into a flourishing and well watered place, yea He brought them out of darkness into light. 4 And there they cried unto the Lord until there gathered together unto them the nine harts, and they became as twelve sheep, and after a little time they increased and became many 5 flocks. And after these things I saw and behold, twelve bulls were sucking one cow, which produced a sea of milk, and there drank thereof the twelve flocks and innumerable herds. 6 And the horns of the fourth bull went up unto heaven and became as a wall for the flocks, and in the midst of the two horns there grew 7 another horn. And I saw a bull calf which surrounded them twelve times, and it became a help to the bulls wholly. 8 And I saw in the midst of the horns a virgin [wearing a many-coloured garment, and from her] went forth a lamb; and on his right (was as it were a lion; and) all the beasts and all the reptiles rushed (against him), and the lamb over 9 came them and destroyed them. And the bulls rejoiced because of him, and the cow [and the 10 harts] exulted together with them. And these 11 things must come to pass in their season. Do ye therefore, my children, observe the commandments of the Lord, and honour Levi and Judah; for from them shall arise unto you [the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world] one who saveth [all the Gentiles and] Israel. 12 For His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, which shall not pass away; but my kingdom among you shall come to an end as a watcher's hammock, which after the summer disappeareth. [20] See also [21]]


2. From "The Jewish Encyclopedia" - The writers say that "the Testament of Joseph presents Joseph in two different aspects. In the first part (ch. i.-x.a) he speaks as the same type of chastity in which he is presented by the rabbinic Haggadah (Targ. Yer. to Gen. xlix. 22; Soṭah 36b; Pirḳe R. El. xxxix.). In the second part (ch. x.b-xvii.) he appears as the model of brotherly love. The first portion of the Testament is written in forcible poetic style; the latter, which chronologically is the earlier, is in simple prose, so that the whole is evidently the work of two different authors. Joseph begins by declaring that his trust in God brought him rescue and exaltation through all the time that he was envied and hated, sold and slandered. The apocalyptic passage, preserved in longer form in the Armenian version, but obviously curtailed and interpolated by Christian hands, describes the captivity and downfall of the kingdom of Joseph and the permanence of the kingdom of Judah. The reference to Levi is a Maccabean insertion." [22]


L. Prophecy in Benjamin

1. From "Early Christian Writings" - Benjamin starts out by giving the sad account of his birth, saying how his birth mother, Rachel, had died in giving him birth, and he, therefore, having no milk, was suckled by Bilhah her handmaid. After relating the events about his brothers' transgression against Joseph, Benjamin, tells how Jacob made the following prophecy about Joseph, "8 In thee shall be fulfilled the prophecy of heaven [concerning the Lamb of God, and Saviour of the world, and that a blameless one shall be delivered up for lawless men, and a sinless one shall die for ungodly men [in the blood of the covenant for the salvation of the Gentiles and of Israel, and shall destroy Beliar and his servants. After speaking about the rewards of doing good before the eyes of God, he again turns to the Messiah. He states, "9…2 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 all the Gentiles, until the Most High shall send forth His salvation in the visitation of an only 3 begotten prophet. [And He shall enter into the [first] temple, and there shall the Lord be treated with outrage, and He shall be lifted up upon 4 a tree. And the veil of the temple shall be rent, and the Spirit of God shall pass on to the Gentiles 5 as fire poured forth. And He shall ascend from Hades and shall pass from earth into heaven. And I know how lowly He shall be upon earth, and how glorious in heaven.] 3 Do ye, therefore, truth and righteousness each one to his neighbour, and judgement unto confirmation, and keep the law of the Lord and his commandments." [23] See also [7]


2. From "The Jewish Encyclopedia" - The writers say that Benjamin's testament "typifies affectionate regard for the righteous. Benjamin accordingly admonishes his children ever to direct their mind toward the good and pure, for the good man has no 'evil eye,' but sympathy for all, and mercy to the poor (ch. iv.), thus having a good influence even on the evil (ch. v.). The spirit of Belial will have no power over him, nor will he look with lust upon woman. The apocalyptic portion (ch. ix.-xi.), based partly upon Gen. xlix. 27 and partly upon Deut. xxxiii. 12, is so interpolated by Christian writers that any analysis of it is extremely difficult. [24]

Jdgray 12:38, 8 September 2008 (UTC) JSharp (talk) @fandom 23:11, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Conclusion

In conclusion, evidence shows that every Patriarch, in varying degrees, has related to his own sons, the prophetic vision that they themselves had received about the coming of the Messiah, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and also saw fit to tell their sons what this most glorious act of God meant for Israel and for the entire world. Although differences of opinion may still exist, the availability of these documents gives all a chance to study them and decide the truth for themselves.

Here, by the way, is a Psalm from King David, whose words are echoed in the very teachings of Christ and the Apostles.

1 The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty;

the LORD is robed in majesty 
      and is armed with strength. 
      The world is firmly established; 
      it cannot be moved.
   2 Your throne was established long ago; 
      you are from all eternity. [Psalm 93]

Jdgray 13:21, 27 September 2008 (UTC)




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