T H E T E S TA M E N T O F

ISSACHAR
CHAPT ER 1 1 T he copy of the word s of Issa cha r. For he called his sons and said to them: Heark en, my children, to Issa cha r your father; Give ear to the words o f him who is belo ved o f the Lord. 2 I was born the fifth son to Jaco b, by wa y of hire for the mandrak es. 3 For Reu ben my brother brou ght in ma ndrak es from the field, and Ra chel met him and took them. 4 And Reu ben wept, and at his voice Leah my mother came forth. 5 Now these (mandrak es) were swe et-smelling apples which were produ ced in the land of Haran below a ra vine of water. 6 And Rachel said: I will not give them to thee, bu t they shall be to me instea d of children. For the Lord ha th despised me, and I have not borne children to Jacob. 7 Now there were two apples; a nd Lea h said to Rachel: Let it su ffice thee that thou hast tak en my hu sba nd: wilt thou tak e these also? 8 And Rachel said to her: T hou sha lt have Jacob this night for the ma ndrak es of thy son. 9 And Leah said to her: Jacob is mine, for I am the wife of h i s you th. 10 Bu t Rachel said: Boast not, and va u nt not thyself; for he espou sed me before thee, and for my sak e he served ou r father fou rteen yea rs. 11 And had not craft increa sed on the ea rth and the wick edness o f men prospered, thou wou ldest not now see the face of Jacob. 12 For thou art not his wife, bu t in cra ft wert tak en to him in my stead. 13 And my father deceived me, a nd removed me on that night, and did not su ffer Jacob to see me; for had I been there, this had not happened to him. 14 Nevertheless, for the mandrak es I am hiring Jacob to thee for one night. 15 And Jacob k new Leah, and she conceived and bare me, and on a ccou nt of the hire I was called Iss a char. CHAPT ER 2 1 T hen appeared to Jacob an angel of the Lord, saying: Two children sha ll Rachel bear, inasmu ch as she hath refu sed company with her hu sband, and hath chosen continen cy. 2 And had not Leah my mother paid the two apples for the sak e of his company, she wou ld have borne eight sons; for this reason she bare six, and Rachel bare the two: for on accou nt of the mandrak es the Lord visited her. 3 For He k new that for the sak e of children she wish ed to company with Jacob, and not for lu st of ple a su re. 4 For on the morrow also she again gave u p Jacob. Becau se of the ma ndrak es, therefore, the Lord heark ened to Rachel. 5 For thou gh she desired them, she ate them not, bu t offered them in the hou se of the Lord, presenting them to the priest of the Most High who was at that time. CHAPT ER 3 1 When, therefore, I grew u p, my

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children, I walk ed in u prightness of hea rt, and I became a hu sbandman for my father and my brethren, and I brou ght in fru its from the fi eld a ccording to their season. 2 And my father blessed me, for he sa w that I walk ed in rectitu de before him. 3 And I was not a bu sybody in my doings, nor enviou s and maliciou s a ga inst my neighbou r. 4 I never slandered any one, nor did I censu re the life of any man, wa lk ing as I did in singleness o f eye. 5 T herefore, when I was thirty -five yea rs old, I took to myself a wife, for my labou r wore away my strength, and I never thou ght u pon plea su re with women; bu t owing to my toil, sleep overcame me. 6 And my father always rejoiced in my rectitu de, becau se I offered throu gh the priest to the Lord all first-fru its; then to my father also. 7 And the Lord increased ten tho u sa ndfold His ben efits in my hands; a nd a lso Jacob, my father, k new that God a ided my singleness. 8 For on all the poor and oppressed I bestowed the good thing s of the ea rth in the singleness of my heart. CHAPT ER 4 1 And now, heark en to me, my children, 2 T he single-(minded) man coveteth not gold, He overreacheth not his neighb ou r, He longeth not after ma nifold dainties, He delighteth not in va ried apparel. 3 He doth not desire to live a long life, Bu t only waiteth fo r the will of God. 4 And the spirits of d eceit have no power against him, For he look eth

not on the beau ty of women, Lest he shou ld pollu te his mind with corru ption. 5 T here is no envy in his thou ghts, Nor maliciou s person mak eth his sou l to pine away, N or worry with insatia ble desire in his mind. 6 For he walk eth in singleness rof sou l, And beholdeth all things in u prightness of heart, Shu nning eyes (made) evil throu gh the error of the world, Lest he shou ld see the p e rversion of any of the comman dments o f the Lord. CHAPT ER 5 1 Keep, therefore, my children, the law of God, And get singleness, rAnd walk in gu ilelessness, Not playing the bu sybody with the bu s iness o f you r neighbou r. 2 Bu t love the Lord and you r neighbou r, Have compassion on the poor and weak . 3 Bow down you r back u nto hu sbandry, And toil in labou rs rin all manner of hu sbandry, offering gifts to the Lord with thank sgiving. 4 For with the first -fru its of the earth will the Lord bless you , even as He blessed all the saints from Abel even u ntil now. 5 For no other portion is given to you than of the fatness of th e earth, whose fru its are raised by toil. 6 For our father Jacob blessed me with blessing s of the earth and of first-fru its. 7 And Levi and Ju dah were glor ified by th e Lord even amon g the sons o f Jacob; for the Lord ga ve them an inheritance, and to Levi He gave the priesthood, and to Ju dah the k ingdom. 8 And do ye therefore obey them, and walk in the singleness of you r

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fa ther; for u nto Gad hath it been given to destroy the troops that are coming u pon Israel. CHAPT ER 6 1 Know ye, therefore, my children, tha t in the last times You r sons will forsa k e singleness, And will cleave u nto insatiable desire; And leaving gu ilelessness, will draw near to m a lice;And forsak ing the comman dments of the Lord, T hey will cleave u nto Beliar; 2 And leaving hu sbandry, T hey will follow after their own wick ed d e vices, And they shall be dispersed a mong the Gentiles, An d shall serve their enemies. 3 And do ye therefore giv e these comma nds to you r child ren, that, if they sin, they may the more qu ick ly return to the Lord; 4 For He is mercifu l, and will d eliver them, even to bring them back into their land. CHAPT ER 7 1 Behold, therefore, as ye see, I am a hu ndred and twenty -six years old a nd a m not consciou s of committing a ny sin. 2 Except my wife I have not k nown a ny woman. I never committed fo rnica tion by the u plifting of my eyes. 3 I drank not wine, to be led astray thereby; I coveted not any desirable thing that was my neighbou r's. 4 Gu ile arose not in my heart; A lie pa ssed not throu gh my lips. 5 If any man were in distress I joined my sigh s with his, And I sha red my bread with the po or. I wrou ght godliness, all my days I k ept truth. 6 I loved the Lord; Lik ewise also every man with all my heart .

7 So do ye also these thing s, my children, And every spirit of Beliar shall flee from you , And no deed of wick ed men shall ru le over you ; And every wild b east shall ye su bdu e, Since ye have with you the God of heaven and earth (And) walk with men in singlen ess o f heart. 8 And having said these things, he commanded hi s son s that they shou ld carry him u p to Hebron, and bu ry him there in the cave with his fa thers. 9 And he stretched ou t his feet a nd died, the fifth son of Jacob, at a good old age; with ev ery limb sou nd, and with strength u nabated, he slept the eternal sleep.

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