CHAPT ER 1 1 T he copy of the Testament of Reu ben, even the commands which he ga ve his sons befo re he died in the hu ndred and twenty-fi fth year of his life. 2 Two years after the death of J oseph hi s brother, when Reu ben fell ill, his sons and his sons' son s were ga thered together to visit him. 3 And he said to them: My chi ldren, behold I am dying, and go the wa y of my fathers. 4 And seeing there Ju dah, and Gad a nd Asher, his brethren, he said to them: Raise me u p, that I may t ell to my brethren and to my children wha t things I have hidden in my hea rt, for behold now at length I am pa ssing away. 5 And he arose and k issed them, a nd sa id u nto them: Hear, my bret hren, a nd do ye, my child ren, give ea r to Reu ben you r father, in the comma nds which I give you . 6 And behold I call to witness a ga inst you this day the God of he a ven, that ye walk not in the ign ora nce of you th and fornication, wherein I was pou red ou t, and d efiled the bed o f my father Jacob. 7 And I tell you that He smo te me with a sore plagu e in my loins for seven months; and had n ot my father Ja cob prayed for me to the Lord, the Lord wou ld have destroyed me. 8 For I was thirty years old when I wrou ght the evil thing before the Lord, and for seven months I was sick u nto death. 9 And after this I repented with set pu rpose of my sou l for seven years before the Lord. 10 And wine and strong drink I drank not, and flesh entered not into my mou th, and I ate no pleasant food; bu t I mou rned over my sin, for it was great, su ch as had not been in Israel. CHAPT ER 2 1 And now hear me, my children, what things I saw concerning the seven spirits of d eceit, wh en I r epented. 2 Seven spirits therefore are a ppointed against man, and they are the leaders in the work s of you th. 3 And seven other spirits are given to him at his creation, that throu gh them shou ld be do ne ev ery work of man. 4 T he first is the spirit of life, with which the con stitu tion (of man) is created. T he second is the sen se o f sight, with which ariseth desire. 5 T he third is the sen se o f h earing, with which co meth teaching. T he fou rth is the sense of smell, with which tastes are given to draw air and breath. 6 T he fifth is the po wer o f speech, with which co meth k nowledg e. 7 T he sixth is the sense' o f tas te, with which co meth the eating of meats and drink s; and b y it strength is produ ced, for in food is the fou ndation of strength. 8 T he seventh is the power of pr ocreation and sexu al intercourse, with which throu gh love of pleasu re sins enter in. 9 Wherefore it is the last in order of creation, and the first in that of



you th, becau se it is filled with i gnora nce, and leadeth the you th as a blind man to a pit, and as a beast to a precipice. CHAPT ER 3 1 Besides all these there is an eighth spirit of sleep, with which is brou ght abou t the tra nce of natu re a nd the image of death. 2 With these spirits are mingled the spirits of error. 3 First, the spirit of fornication is sea ted in the natu re and in the senses; the second, the spirit of i nsa tia bleness, in the belly; 4 T he third, the spirit of fighting, in the liver and gall. T he fou rth is the spirit of obsequ iou sness and chica nery, that throu gh officiou s a ttention one may be fair in seeming. 5 T he fifth is the spirit of pride, tha t one may be boastfu l and arr oga nt. T he sixth is the spirit of lying, in perdition and in jealou sy to pra ctise deceits, and concealments from k indred and friends. 6 T he seventh is the spirit of inju stice, with which are thefts and acts of ra pacity, that a man may fu lfil the desire o f hi s heart; for inju stice work eth together with the other sp irits by the tak ing of gifts. 7 And with all these the spirit of sleep is joined which is (that) of e rror a nd fantasy. 8 And so perisheth every you ng ma n, dark ening his mind fro m the truth, a nd not u nderstanding the law of God, nor obeying the admon itions of his fathers, as befell me a lso in my you th. 9 And now, my children, love the truth, and it will preserve you : hear ye the words o f Reu ben you r father. 10 Pa y no heed to the face of a

woman, Nor associate with another man's wife, Nor meddle with affairs of wo mank ind. 11 For had I not seen Bilhah bat hing in a covered place, I had not fa llen into this great iniquity. 12 For my mind tak ing in the thou ght of the woman's nak edness, su ffered me not to sleep u ntil I had wrou ght the abominable thing. 13 For while Jacob ou r father had gone to Isaac his father, when we were in Ed er, near to Ephrath in Bethlehem, Bilhah became dru nk and was asleep u ncovered in her chamber. 14 Having therefore gone in and beheld her nak edness, I wrou ght the impiety withou t her perceiving it, and leaving her sleeping I departed. 15 And forthwith an angel of God revealed to my father concerning my impiety, and he came and mourned over me, and tou ched her no more. CHAPT ER 4 1 Pay no heed, therefore, my chi ldren, to the beau ty of wo men, n or set you r mind on their a ffairs; bu t walk in singleness o f heart in the fear of the Lord, and expend labou r on good work s, and on stu dy and on you r flock s, u ntil the Lord give you a wife, who m He will, that ye su ffer not as I did. 2 For u ntil my father's death I had not boldness to look in his face, or to speak to any of my brethren, becau se of the reproach. 3 Even u ntil now my conscience cau seth me angu ish on acco u nt of my impiety. 4 And yet my father comforted me mu ch, and prayed for me u nto the Lord, that the anger o f the Lord might pass from me, even as the



Lord showed. And thenc eforth u ntil now I have been on my gu a rd and sinned not. 5 T herefore, my children, I say u nto you , observe all things whats oever I command you , and ye shall not sin. 6 For a pit u nto the soul is the sin of fornication, separating it from God, a nd bringing it near to idols, beca u se it deceiveth the mind and u nderstanding, and leadeth down you ng men into Hades before their time. 7 For many hath fornication d estroyed; becau se, thou gh a man be old or noble, or rich or p oor, he bringeth reproach u pon himself with the sons o f men and d erision with Belia r. 8 For hear ye regarding Joseph how he gu arded himself from a woman, a nd pu rged his thou ghts from all fornica tion, and fou nd favour in the sight of God and men. 9 For the Egyptian woman did ma ny things u nto him, and su mmoned ma gicians, and offered him love potions, bu t the pu rpose of his sou l a dmitted no evil desire. 10 T herefore the God of you r fa thers delivered him from every evil (a nd) hidden death. 11 For if fornication overcomes n ot you r mind, neither can Beliar ove rcome you . CHAPT ER 5 1 For evil are women, my children; a nd since they have no power or strength over man, they u se wiles by ou twa rd attractions that they may dra w him to themselves. 2 And whom they cannot bewitch by ou tward attractions, him they overcome b y craft.

3 For moreover, concerning them, the angel of the Lord told me, and tau ght me, that women are overcome by the spirit of fornication more than men, and in their heart they plot against men; and by means of their adornment they deceiv e first their minds, and by the glance of the eye instil the poison, and then throu gh the accomplished act they tak e them captive. 4 For a woman cannot force a man openly, bu t by a harlot's bearing she begu iles him. 5 Flee, therefore, fornication, my children, and command your wives and you r dau ghters, t hat they adorn not their heads and faces to deceive the mind; b ecau se every woman who u seth these wiles hath been reserved for eternal pu nishment. 6 For thu s they allu red the Watc hers who were before the flood; for as these continually beheld them, they lu sted after them, and they conceived the act in their mind; for they changed th emselves into the shape of men, and a ppeared to them when they were with their hu sbands. 7 And the women lu sting in their minds after their forms, gave birth to giants, for the Watchers appeared to them as reaching even u nto hea ven. CHAPT ER 6 1 Beware, therefore, of fornic a tion; and if you wish to be pu re in mind, gu ard you r senses from every wo m an. 2 And command the wo men lik ewise not to associate with men, that they also may be pu re in mind. 3 For constant meetings, even thou gh the u ngodly deed be not wrou ght, are to them an irr emedia -



ble disease, and to u s a destru ction of Beliar and an eternal reproach. 4 For in fornication there is ne ither u nderstanding nor godliness, and all jea lou sy dwelleth in the lu st th ereof. 5 T herefore, then, I say u nto you, ye will be jealou s against the son s of Levi, and will seek to be exalted over them; bu t ye shall not be able. 6 For God will avenge them and ye sha ll die by an evil death. 7 For to Levi God gave the sov ereignty and to Ju dah with him and to me a lso, and to Dan and Joseph, that we shou ld be for ru lers. 8 T herefore I command you to hea rk en to Levi, becau se he shall k now the law of the Lord, and shall give ordinances for ju dgement and sha ll sacrifice for all Israel u ntil the consu mmation of th e times, as the a nointed High Priest, of whom the Lord spak e. 9 I a dju re you by the God of he a ven to do tru th each one u nto his neighbou r and to entertain love each for his brother. 10 And dra w ye near to Levi in hu mbleness o f heart, that ye may receive a blessing from hi s mou th. 11 For he shall bless Israel and J u da h, becau se him hath the Lord ch osen to be k ing over all the nation. 12 And bow down before his seed, for on ou r behalf it will die in wars visible and invisible, and will be a mong you an eternal k ing. CHAPT ER 7 1 And Reu ben died, having given these co mmands to his sons. 2 And they placed him in a coffin u ntil they carried him u p from Egypt, and bu ried him in Hebron in the ca ve where his father was.


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