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Testament of Judah

About Love of Money and Fornication

Testament of Judah

The Testament of Judah

Judah was the fourth son of Jacob and Leah. Out of jealousy, he and his brothers took Joseph and threw him into a pit and then debated what to do with him. It was Judah who saw an Ishmaelite caravan pass before them at that time, suggesting that instead of killing Joseph, he should be sold as a slave to this group of people. Said caravan was bound for Egypt. He believed that it was better to profit from the sale of Joseph, which the other brothers took as a wise suggestion.

  • Genesis 37:26-27 "Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay a hand on him; for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And they agreed.

Judah exhorted on the consequences of fornication, alcohol abuse and the love of money.

Chapter 1

  1. The copy of the words of Judah, what things he spake to his sons before he died.

  2. They gathered themselves together, therefore, and came to him, and he said to them: Hearken, my children, to Judah your father.

  3. I was the fourth son born to my father Jacob; and Leah my mother named me Judah, saying, I give thanks to the Lord, because He has given me a fourth son also.

  4. I was swift in my youth, and obedient to my father in everything.

  5. And I honoured my mother and my mother's sister.

  6. And it came to pass, when I became a man, that my father blessed me, saying, you shalt be a king, prospering in all things.

Chapter 2

  1. And the Lord showed me favour in all my works both in the field and in the house. 

  2. I seized upon the roes in the chase, and all that was in the plains I outran. 

  3. A wild mare I outran, and I caught it and tamed it.

  4. I slew a lion, and plucked a kid out of its mouth. I took a bear by its paw, and hurled it down a cliff and it was crushed. And if any beast turned upon me, I rent it like a dog. 

  5. I encountered the wild boar, and seizing it in the chase, I tore it in sunder. 

  6. A leopard in Hebron leaped upon mydog, and I caught it by the tail, and flung it on the rocks, and it was dashed to pieces.

  7. I found a wild ox feeding in the field and seizing it by the horns; I  whirl it round and stun it, I cast it from me, and slew it.

Chapter 3

  1. And when the two kings of the Canaanites came in warlike array against our flocks, and much people with them, I by myself rushed upon King Sur and seized him; and I beat him upon the legs, and dragged him down, and so I killed him

  2. And the other king, Taphue, I killed as he sat upon his horse, and so I scattered all the people.

  3. Achor the king, a man of giant stature, I found hurling darts before and behind as he sat on horseback, and I took up a stone of sixty pounds weight, cast it upon his horse, and killed it.

  4. And I fought with Achor for two hours, and I clave his shield into two parts, I chopped off his feet, and killed him.

  5. And as I was stripping off his breastplate, behold nine men, his companions began to fight with me.

  6. And I wound my garment on my hand; and I slung stones at them, and killed four of them, and the rest fled.

  7. And Jacob my father killed Beelesath, king of all the kings, a giant in strength, twelve cubits high.

  8. And fear fell upon them, and they ceased from making war against us.

  9. Therefore my father was free from anxiety in the wars when I was with my brethren.

  10. For he saw in a vision concerning me that an angel of might followed me everywhere, that I should not be overcome.

Chapter 4

  1. And in the south there befell us a greater war than that in Shechem; and I joined in battle array with my brethren, and pursued a thousand men, and killed of them two hundred men and  four kings.

  2. And I went up upon the wall, and I killed four mighty men.

  3. And so we captured Hazor, and took all the spoil.

Chapter 5

  1. On the next day we departed to Aretan, a city strong and walled and inaccessible, threatening us with death.

  2. Therefore I and Gad approached on the east side of the city, and Reuben and Levi on the west.

  3. And they that were upon the wall, thinking that we were alone, charged down upon us.

  4. And so my brothers secretly climbed up the wall on both sides by ladders, and entered the city, while the men knew it not.

  5. And we took it with the edge of the sword; and those who had taken refuge in the tower — we set fire to the tower, and took both it and them.

  6. And as we were departing the men of Tappuah set upon our spoil, and delivering it up to our sons we fought with them as far as Tappuah.

  7. And we killed them and burned their city, and took as spoil all that was in it.

Chapter 6

  1. And when I was at the waters of Kozeba, the men of Jobel came against us to battle.

  2. And we fought with them and routed them; and their allies from Shiloh we killed, and we allowed them no means of escaping, and of coming against us.

  3. And the men of Makir came upon us the fifth day, to seize our spoil; and we attacked them and overcame them in fierce battle: for they were a host and mighty in themselves, and we slew them before they had gone up the ascent of the hill.

  4. And when we came to their city their women rolled upon us stones from the brow of the hill on which the city stood,

  5. And I and Simeon hid ourselves behind the town, and seized upon the heights, and utterly destroyed the whole city.

Chapter 7

  1. And the next day we were told that the king of the city of Gaash with a mighty host was coming against us.

  2. therefore, I and Dan feigned ourselves to be Amorites, and went as allies into their city

  3. And in the depth of night our brethren came and we opened the gates to them; and we destroyed all the men and their substance, and we took for a prey all that was theirs, and their three walls we cast down.

  4. And we drew near to Thamna, where was all the refuge of the hostile kings.

  5. Then being insulted by them, I was therefore very angry, and rushed against them to the summit; and they kept slinging against me stones and darts.

  6. And had not Dan my brother aided me, they would have slain me.

  7. We came upon them, therefore, with wrath, and they all fled; and passing by another way, they besought my father, and he made peace with them.

  8. And we did to them no hurt, and they became tributary to us, and we restored to them their spoil.

  9. I built Thamna, and my father built Pabael.

  10. I was twenty years old when this war befell.

  11. And the Canaanites feared me and my brethren.

Chapter 8

  1. I had much cattle, and I had for chief herdsman Iram the Adullamite.

  2. And when I went to him I saw Parsaba, king of Adullam; he spoke to us, and he made us a feast; and when I was in heat he gave me his daughter Bathshua to wife.

  3. She bare me Er, and Onan and Shelah;

  4. and two of them the Lord smote. But Shelah lived, and you are his children.

Chapter 9

  1. For eighteen years my father dwelled in peace with his brother Esau, and his sons with us, after that we came from Mesopotamia, from Laban.

  2. And when eighteen years were fulfilled, in the fortieth year of my life, Esau, the brother of my father, came upon us with a mighty and strong people.

  3. And Jacob smote Esau with an arrow, and he was taken up wounded on Mount Seir,

  4. and as he went, he died at Anoniram. And we pursued after the sons of Esau. Now they had a city with walls of iron and gates of brass; and we could not enter into it, and we encamped around, and besieged it.

  5. And when they opened not to us in twenty days, I set up a ladder in the sight of all and with my shield upon my head I went up, sustaining the assault of stones, upwards of three talents weight; and I slew four of their mighty men.

  6. And Reuben and Gad slew six others.

  7. Then they asked from us terms of peace; and having taken counsel with our father, we received them as tributaries.

  8. And they gave us five hundred cors of wheat, five hundred baths of oil, five hundred measures of wine, until the famine, when we went down into Egypt.

Chapter 10

  1. And after these things my son Er took to wife Tamar, from Mesopotamia, a daughter of Aram.

  2. Now Er was wicked, and he was in doubt concerning Tamar, because she was not of the land of Canaan. And on the third night an angel of the Lord killed him.

  3. And he had not known her according to the evil craftiness of his mother, for he did not wish to have children by her.

  4. In the days of the wedding-feast I gave Onan to her in marriage;

  5. and he also in wickedness knew her not, though he spent with her a year.

  6. And when I threatened him he went in unto her, but he spilled his seed on the ground, according to the command of his mother, and he also died through wickedness.

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

Chapter 11

  1. And I knew that the race of the Canaanites was wicked, but the impulse of youth blinded my mind.

  2. And when I saw her pouring out wine, owing to the intoxication of wine I was deceived, and took her although my father had not counselled (it).

  3. And while I was away she went and took for Shelah a wife from Canaan.

  4. And when I knew what she had done, I cursed her in the anguish of my soul.

  5. And she also died through her wickedness together with her sons.

Chapter 12

  1. And after these things, while Tamar was a widow, she heard after two years that I was going up to shear my sheep, and she adorned herself in bridal array, and sat over against the city by the gate.

  2. For it was a law of the Amorites, that she who was about to marry should sit in fornication seven days by the gate.

  3. I therefore, being drunk at the waters of Chozeb, recognised her not by reason of wine; and her beauty deceived me, through the fashion of her adorning

  4. And I turned aside to her, and said: Let me go in to you. And she said: What will you give me? And I gave her my staff, and my girdle, and the diadem of my kingdom in pledge. And I lay with her, and she conceived.

  5. And not knowing what I had done, I wished to slay her; but she privily sent my pledges, and put me to shame.

  6. And when I called her, I heard also the secret words which I spoke when lying with her in my drunkenness;

  7. and I could not slay her, because it was from the Lord.

  8. For I said, Lest haply she did it in subtlety, having received the pledge from another woman.

  9. But I came not again near her while I lived, because I had done this abomination in all Israel.

  10. Moreover, they who were in the city said that there was no bride in the city, because she came from another place, and sat for awhile in the gate

  11. And I thought that no one knew that I had gone in to her.

  12. And after this we came into Egypt to Joseph, because of the famine.

  13. I was forty six years old, and for seventy three years I lived in Egypt.

Chapter 13

  1. And now I command you, my children, hearken to Judah your father, and keep my sayings to perform all the ordinances of the Lord, and to obey the commands of God.

  2. And walk not after your lusts, nor in the imaginations of your thoughts in haughtiness of heart; and glory not in the deeds and strength of your youth, for this also is evil in the eyes of the Lord.

  3. For since I also gloried that in wars the face of no woman of goodly form ever deceived me, and reproved Reuben my brother concerning Bilhah, the wife of my father, the spirits of jealousy and of fornication arrayed themselves within me, until I lay with Bathshua the Canaanite, and Tamar, who was espoused to my sons.

  4. And I said to my father-in-law, I will counsel with my father, and so will I take your daughter. He was unwilling, but he showed me a boundless store of gold in his daughter's 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 women.

  6. And the wine turned aside my eyes, and pleasure blinded my heart.

  7. And I became enamoured of and I lay with her, and transgressed the commandment of the Lord and the commandment of my fathers, and I took her to wife.

  8. And the Lord rewarded me according to the imagination of my heart, inasmuch as I had no joy in her children.

Chapter 14

  1. And now, my children, I say unto you, be not drunk with wine; for wine turns the mind away from the truth, and inspires the passion of lust, and leads the eyes into error.

  2. For the spirit of fornication has wine as a minister to give pleasure to the mind; for these two also take away the mind of man.

  3. 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 of the lust be present, he works the sin, and is not ashamed.

  4. Such is the inebriated man, my children; for he who is drunken reverences no man.

  5. For, lo, it made me also to err, so that I was not ashamed of the multitude in the city, in that before the eyes of all I turned aside unto Tamar, and I worked a great sin, and I uncovered the covering of my sons' shame.

  6. After I had drunk wine I reverenced not the commandment of God, and I took a woman of Canaan to wife.

  7. Wherefore, my children, he who drinks wine needs discretion; and herein is discretion in drinking wine a man may drink so long as he preserves modesty.

  8. But if he go beyond this limit, the spirit of deceit attacks his mind, and it makes the drunkard talk to filthily, and to transgress and not to be ashamed, but but even to exult in his dishonour, accounting himself to do well.

Chapter 15

  1. He that commits fornication is not aware when he suffers loss, and is not ashamed when put to dishonour.

  2. For even though a man be a king and commit fornication, he is stripped of his kingship by becoming the slave of fornication, as I myself also suffered.

  3. 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.

  4. And indeed I repented of these things; wine and flesh I eat not until my old age, nor did I behold any joy.

  5. And the angel of God showed me that for ever do women bear rule over king and beggar alike.

  6. And from the king they take away his glory, and from the valiant man his might, and from the beggar even that little which is the stay of his poverty.

Chapter 16

  1. Observe, therefore, my children, the (rights limit in wine; for there are in it four evil spirits -- of lust, of hot desire, of riot, of filthy lucre. If you drink wine in gladness, be  modest in the fear of God.

  2. For if in (your) gladness the fear of God departs, then drunkenness arises and shamelessness steals in.

  3. But if you would live soberly do not touch wine at all, lest you sin in words of outrage, and in fightings and slanders, and transgressions of the commandments of God, and you perish before your time.

  4. Moreover, wine reveals the mysteries of God and men, even as I also revealed the commandments of God and the mysteries of Jacob my father to the Canaanitish woman Bathshua, which God bade me not to reveal. And wine is a cause both of war and confusion.

Chapter 17

  1. And now, I command you, my children, not to love money, nor to gaze upon the beauty of women; because for the sake of money and beauty I was led astray to Bathshua the Canaanite.

  2. For I know that because of these two things shall my race fall into wickedness.

  3. For even wise men among my sons shall they mar, and shall cause the kingdom of Judah to be diminished, which the Lord gave me because of my obedience to my father.

  4. For I never caused grief to Jacob, my father: for all things whatsoever he commanded I did.

  5. And Isaac, the father of my father, blessed me to be king in Israel, and Jacob further blessed me in like manner.

  6. And I know that from me shall the kingdom be established.

Chapter 18

  1. And I know what evils you will do in the last days.

  2. Beware, therefore, my children, of fornication, and the love of money, and hearken to Judah your father.

  3. For these things withdraw you from the law of God, And blind the inclination of the soul, And teach arrogance, And suffer not a man to have compassion upon his neighbour.

  4. They rob his soul of all goodness, And oppress him with toils and troubles, And drive away sleep from him, And devour his flesh.

  5. And he hinders the sacrifices of God; And he remembers not the blessing of God, He hearkens not to a prophet when he speaks, And resents the words of godliness.

  6. For one who serves two passions contrary to the commandments of God cannot obey God, because they have blinded his soul, and he walks in the day-time as in the night.

Chapter 19

  1. My children, the love of money leads to idolatry; because, when led astray through money, men name as gods those who are not gods, and it causes him who has it to fall into madness.

  2. For the sake of money I lost my children, and had not my repentance, and my humiliation, and the prayers of my father been accepted, I should have died childless.

  3. But the God of my fathers had mercy on me, because I did it in ignorance.

  4. And the prince of deceit blinded me, and I sinned as a man and as flesh, being corrupted through sins;

  5. and I learnt my own weakness while thinking myself invincible.

Chapter 20

  1. Know, therefore, my children, that two spirits wait upon man: the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.

  2. And in the midst is the spirit of understanding of the mind, to which it belongs to turn wherever it will.

  3. And the works of truth and the works of deceit are written upon the hearts of men, and each one of them the Lord knows.

  4. And there is no time at which the works of men can be hid; for on the heart itself have they been written down before the Lord.

  5. And the spirit of truth testifies all things, and accuses all; and the sinner is burnt up by his own heart, and cannot raise his face unto the judge.

Chapter 21

  1. And now, my children, I command you, love Levi, that you may abide, and exalt not yourselves against him, lest you be utterly destroyed.

  2. For to me the Lord gave the kingdom, and to him the priesthood, and He set the kingdom beneath the priesthood.

  3. To me He gave the things upon the earth; to him the things in the heavens.

  4. As the heaven is higher than the earth, so is the priesthood of God higher than the earthly kingdom, unless it falls away through sin from the Lord and is dominated by the earthly kingdom.

  5. For the angel of the Lord said unto me: The Lord chose him rather than thee, to draw near to Him, and to eat of His table and to offer Him the first-fruits of the choice things of the sons of Israel;

  6. but you shall be king of Jacob. And you shall be amongst them as the sea. For as, on the sea, just and unjust are tossed about, some taken into captivity while some are enriched, so also shall every race of men be in you: some shall be impoverished, being taken captive, and others grow rich by plundering the possessions of others.

  7. For the kings shall be as sea-monsters. They shall swallow men like fishes: The sons and daughters of free men shall they enslave; Houses, lands, flocks, money shall they plunder:

  8. And with the flesh of many shall they wrongfully feed the ravens and the cranes; And they shall advance in evil, in covetousness uplifted,

  9. And there shall be false prophets like tempests, And they shall persecute all righteous men.

Chapter 22

  1. And the Lord shall bring upon them divisions one against another. And there shall be continual wars in Israel;

  2. And among men of another race shall my kingdom be brought to an end, Until the salvation of Israel shall come, Until the appearing of the God of righteousness, That Jacob [and all the Gentiles] may rest in peace. And He shall guard the might of my kingdom for ever;

  3. For the Lord sware to me with an oath that He would not destroy the kingdom from my seed for ever.

Chapter 23

  1. Now I have much grief, my children, because of your lewdness and witchcrafts, and idolatries which you shall practise against the kingdom, following them that have familiar spirits, diviners, and demons of error.

  2. You shall make your daughters singing girls and harlots, and you shall mingle in the abominations of the Gentiles.

  3. For which things' sake the Lord shall bring upon you famine and pestilence, death and the sword, beleaguering by enemies, and revilings of friends, the slaughter of children, the rape of wives, the plundering of possessions, the burning of the temple of God, the laying waste of the land, the enslavement of yourselves among the Gentiles.

  4. And they shall make some of you eunuchs for their wives.

  5. And whenever you will return to the Lord with humility of heart, repenting and walking in all the commandments of God, then will the Lord visit you in mercy and in love, bringing you from out of the bondage of your enemies.

Chapter 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; and He shall pour out the spirit of grace upon you;

  3. And you shall be unto Him sons in truth, and you shall walk in His commandments first and last.

  4. This Branch of God Most High, and this Fountain giving life unto all. Then shall the sceptre of my kingdom shine forth;

  5. And from your root shall arise a stem; and from it shall grow a rod of righteousness to the Gentiles, to judge and to save all that call upon the Lord.

Chapter 25

  1. And after these things shall Abraham and Isaac and Jacob arise unto life, and I and my brethren shall be chiefs of the tribes of Israel: Levi first, I the second, Joseph third, Benjamin fourth, Simeon fifth; Issachar sixth, and so all in order.

  2. And the Lord blessed Levi, and the Angel of the Presence, me; the powers of glory, Simeon; the heaven, Reuben; the earth, Issachar; the sea, Zebulun; the mountains, Joseph; the tabernacle, Benjamin; the luminaries, Dan; Eden, Naphtali; the sun, Gad; the moon, Asher.

  3. And you shall be the people of the Lord, and have one tongue; and there shall be there no spirit of deceit of Beliar. For he shall be cast into the fire for ever.

  4. And they who have died in grief shall arise in joy,

  5. And they who were poor for the Lord's sake shall be made rich, And they who are put to death for the Lord's sake shall awake to life.

  6. And the harts of Jacob shall run in joyfulness, And the eagles of Israel shall fly in gladness; And all the people shall glorify the Lord for ever.

Chapter 26

  1. Observe, therefore, my children, all the law of the Lord, for there is hope for all them who hold fast unto His ways.

  2. And he said to them: Behold, I die before your eyes this day, a hundred and nineteen years old.

  3. Let no one bury me in costly apparel, nor tear open my bowels, for this shall they who are kings do; and carry me up to Hebron with you.

  4. And Judah, when he had said these things, fell asleep; and his sons did according to all whatsoever he commanded them, and they buried him in Hebron, with his fathers.

To God be the glory. Amen!

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