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The Book of Jubilees

From The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament

by R.H. Charles, Oxford: Clarendon Press,


Scanned and Edited by Joshua Williams, Northwest Nazarene College.

A page of the Book of Jubilees


A page of the Ethiopic version of the apocryphal work known to ecclesiastical writers as the "Lesser Genesis," and the "Apocalypse of Moses" (British Museum MS. Orient. No. 485, Fol. 83b). Because each of the periods of time described in the book contains forty-nine to fifty years, the Ethiopians called it MAZHAFA K i.e. the "Book of Jubilees." The passage here reproducted describes the tale of Joseph in the 17th year of his age, his going down to Egypt, and his life in that country.

 See the video about Jubilees in 20 parts:

The Book of Jubilees, Introduction

The Book of Jubilees

From The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament

by R.H. Charles, Oxford: Clarendon Press,


Scanned and Edited by Joshua Williams, Northwest Nazarene College.



Jubilees is a narrative of Moses experience on Mount Sinai. Here God commanded the "Angel of the Presence" to give Moses an account of Israels history. The book closely parallels the Genesis narrative from Creation to the time of Moses (Genesis 1Exodus 14), with additional stories told of the biblical characters. The book reports that the patriarchs observed festivals and legal practices later formalized in the Law. The book mentions two "Satan" figures: Belial and Prince Mastema. The title, Jubilees, comes from the fact that the narrative is broken down into divisions of time called jubilees (7x7 + 1 = 50 years). The book asserts that 49 jubilees passed from the time of Adam to this dictation to Moses.


Also called "Little Genesis," the Apocalypse of Moses, and the book of the "Divisions of the Times," or simply "Divisions."


Jubilees is largely based on the biblical book of Genesis. Additional sources include the non canonical Books of Noah and Enoch.

Canonical Status: Among the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.

Author: An anonymous Jewish priest, with Pharisaic sympathies.

Date: mid-2ndcentury BC (after the Maccabean revolt)

Original Language

Probably originally written in Hebrew; fragments of 12 such manuscripts discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls

Ethiopic translation (15th/ 16thcentury), which contains the entire text, is the essential basis for the English translation

Latin translation contains approximately one fourth of text.

Fragments have been found written in Greek




The Book of Jubilees is in certain limited aspects the most important book in this volume for the student of religion. Without it we could of course have inferred from Ezra and Nehemiah, the Priests' Code, and the later chapters of Zechariah the supreme position that the law had achieved in Judaism, but without Jubilees we could hardly have imagined such an absolute supremacy as finds expression in this book. This absolute supremacy of the law carried with it, as we have seen in the General Introduction, the suppression of prophecy -at all events of the open exercise of the prophetic gifts. And yet these gifts persisted during all the so-called centuries of silence-from Malachi down to N.T. times, but owing to the fatal incubus of the law these gifts could not find expression save in pseudepigraphic literature. Thus Jubilees represents the triumph of the movement, which had been at work for the past three centuries or more.

And yet this most triumphant manifesto of legalism contained within its pages the element that was destined to dispute its supremacy and finally to reduce the law to the wholly secondary position that alone it could rightly claim. This element of course is apocalyptic, which was the source of the higher theology in Judaism, and subsequently was the parent of Christianity, wherein apocalyptic ceased to be pseudonymous and became one with prophecy.

The Book of Jubilees was written in Hebrew by a Pharisee between the year of the accession of Hyrcanus to the high priesthood in 135 and his breach with the Pharisees some years before his death in 105 B.C. It is the most advanced pre-Christian representative of the midrashic tendency, which has already been at work in the Old Testament Chronicles. As the Chronicler had rewritten the history of Israel and Judah from the basis of the Priests' Code, so our author re-edited from the Pharisaic standpoint of his time the history of events from the creation to the publication, or, according to the author's view, the republication of the law on Sinai. In the course of re-editing he incorporated a large body of traditional lore, which the midrashic process had put at his disposal, and also not a few fresh legal enactments that the exigencies of the past had called forth. His work constitutes an enlarged Targum on Genesis and Exodus, in which difficulties in the biblical narrative are solved, gaps supplied, dogmatically offensive elements removed, and the genuine spirit of later Judaism infused into the primitive history of the world. His object was to defend Judaism against the attacks of the hellenistic spirit that had been in the ascendant one generation earlier and was still powerful, and to prove that the law was of everlasting validity. From our author's contentions and his embittered attacks on the paganisers and apostates, we may infer that Hellenism had urged that the levitical ordinances of the law were only of transitory significance, that they had not been observed by the founders of the nation, and that the time had now come for them to be swept away, and for Israel to take its place in the brotherhood of the nations. Our author regarded all such views as fatal to the very existence of Jewish religion and nationality. But it is not as such that he assailed them, but on the ground of their falsehood. The law, he teaches, is of everlasting validity. Though revealed in time it was superior to time. Before it had been made known in gundry portions to the fathers it had been kept in heaven by the angels, and to its observance henceforward there was no limit in time or in eternity.

Writing in the palmiest days of the Maccabean dominion,in the high-priesthood of John Hyrcanus, looked for the immediate advent of the Messianic kingdom. This kingdom was to be ruled over by a Messiah sprung, not from Levi -that is, from the Maccabean family, as some of his contemporaries expected- but from Judah. This kingdom would be gradually realized on earth, and the transformation of physical nature would go hand in hand with the ethical transformation of man till there was a new heaven and a new earth. Thus, finally, all sin and pain would disappear and men would live to the age of 1,000 years in happiness and peace, and after death enjoy a blessed immortality in the spirit world.


Our book was known by two distinct titles even in Hebrew.

(a) Jubilees

Jubilees. This appears from Epiphanius (Haer. xxxix. 6) to have been its usual designation. It is found also in the Syriac Fragment entitled 'Names of the Wives of the Patriarchs according to the Hebrew Book of Jubilees,' first published by Ceriani, Mon. sacra et profana, ii. 1.9-10, and reprinted by the present writer in his edition of The Ethiopic Version of the Hebrew Book of Jubilees. This name admirably describes the book, as it divides into jubilee periods of forty-nine years each the history of the world from the creation to the legislation on Sinai. The writer pursues a perfectly symmetrical development of the heptadic system. Israel enters Canaan at the close of the fiftieth jubilee, i.e. 2450.

(b) The Little Genesis

The Little Genesis. The epithet 'little' does not refer to the extent of the book, for it is larger than the canonical Genesis, but to its character. It deals more fully with details than the biblical work. The Hebrew title was variously rendered in Greek. 1 ((Gk.) he lepte Genesis (or Lepte Genesis)) as in Epiphanius, Syncellus, Zonaras, Glycas. 2 ((Gk.) he Leptogenesis) in Didymus of Alexandria and in Latin writers, as we may infer from the Decree of Gelasius. 3 (Gk.) ta lepta geneseos) in Syncellus. 4 ((Gk.) Mikrogenesis) in Jerome, who was acquainted with the Hebrew original.

(c) Apocalypse of Moses and other alleged names of the book.

The Apocalypse of Moses. This title had some currency in the time of Synceflus (see i. 5, 49). It forms an appropriate designation since it makes Moses the recipient of all the disclosures in the book.

The Testament of Moses. This title is found in the Catena of Nicephorus, i. 175, where it precedes a quotation from x. 21 of our book. It has, however, nothing to do with the Testament of Moses, which has become universally known under the wrong title -the Assumption of Moses. Ronsch and other scholars formerly sought to identify Jubilees with this second Testament of Moses, but this identification is shown to be impossible by the fact that in the Stichometry of Nicephorus 4,300 stichoi are assigned to Jubilees and only 1100 to this Testament of Moses. On the probability of a Testament of Moses having been in circulation -which was in reality an expansion of Jubilees ii-iii see my edition of Jubilees, p. xviii.

The Book of Adam's Daughters. This book is identified with Jubilees in the Decree of Gelasius, but it probably consisted merely of certain excerpts from Jubilees dealing with the names and histories of the women mentioned in it. Such a collection, as we have already seen, exists in Syriac, and its Greek prototype was used by the scribe of the LXX MS. no.135 in Holmes and Parsons' edition.

The Life of Adam. This title is found in Syncellus i. 7-9. It seems to have been an enlarged edition of the portion of Jubilees, which dealt with the life of Adam.


There are four Ethiopic MSS., a b c d, the first and fourth of which belong to the National Library in Paris, the second to the British Museum, and the third to the University Library at Tubingen. Of these a b (of the fifteenth and sixteenth century respectively) are the most trustworthy, though they cannot be followed exclusively. In a, furthermore, the readings of the Ethiopic version of Genesis have replaced the original against bed in iii. 4, 6, 7, 19, 29; iv. 4, 8, For a full description of these MSS. the reader can consult Charles's Ethiopic Version of the Hebrew Book of Jubilees, pp. xii seqq.


(a) The Greek Version is lost save for some fragments which survive in Epiphanius ((Gk.) peri Metron kai Stathmon) (ed. Dindorf, vol. iv. 27-8). This fragment, which consists of ii. 2-21, is published with critical notes in Charles's edition of the Ethiopic text. Other fragments of this version are preserved in Justin Martyr, Origen, Diodorus of Antioch, Isidore of Alexandria, Isidore of Seville, Eutychius, Patriarch of Alexandria, John of Malala, Syncellus, Cedrenus. Syncellus attributes to the Canonical Genesis statements derived from our text. This version is the parent of the Ethiopic and Latin Versions.

(b) The Ethiopic Version. This version is most accurate and trustworthy and indeed as a rule servilely literal. It has, of course, suffered from the corruptions naturally incident to transmission through MSS. Thus dittographies are frequent and lacunae are of occasional occurrence, but the version is singularly free from the glosses and corrections of unscrupulous scribes, though the temptation must have been great to bring it into accord with the Ethiopic version of Genesis. To this source, indeed, we must trace a few perversions of the text: 'my wife' in iii. 6 instead of 'wife'; xv 12; xvii. 12 ('her bottle' instead of 'the bottle'); xxiv. 19 (where the words 'a well' are not found in the Latin version of Jubilees, nor in the Mass., Sam., LXX, Syr., and Vulg. of Gen. xxvi. 19). In the above passages the whole version is influenced, but in a much greater degree has this influence operated on MS. a. Thus in iii. 4, 6, 7, 19, 29, iv. 4, 8, v.3, vi. 9, , the readings of the Ethiopic version of Genesis have replaced the original text. In the case of b there appears to be only one instance of this nature in xv. 15 (see Charles's Text, pp. xii seqq.).

For instances of corruption native to this version, see Charles on ii. 2, 7, 21, vi. 21, vii. 22, x. 6, 21, xvi. 18, xxiv. 20, 29, xxxi. 2, xxxix. 4, xli. 15, xlv. 4, xlviii. 6.

(c) The Latin Version. This version, of which about one-fourth has been preserved, was first published by Ceriani in his Monnmenta sacra et profana, 1861, tom. i. fase. i. 15-62. It contains the following sections: xiii. 10b-21; xv. 20b-31a; xvi. 5b-xvii. 6a; xviii. 10b-xix. 25; xx. 5b-xxi. 10a; xxii. 2-19a; xxiii. 8b-23a; xxiv. 13-xxv. 1a; xxvi. 8b-23a; xxvii. 11b-24a; xxviii. 16b-27a; xxix. 8b-xxxi. 1a; xxxi. 9b-1 8, 29b-32; xxxii. 1-8a, 18b-xxxiii. 9a, 18b-xxxiv. 5a; xxxv. 3b-12a; xxxvi. 20b-xxxvii. 5a; xxxviii. 1b-16a; xxxix. 9-xl. 8a; xli. 6b-18; xlii. 2b-14a; xlv. 8-xlvi. 1, 12-xlviii. 5; xlix. 7b-22. This version was next edited by Ronsch in 1874, Das Buch der Fubilaen . . . unter Befugung des revidirten Textes der . . . lateinisehen Fragmente. This work attests enormous industry and great learning, but is deficient in judgement and critical acumen. Ronsch was of opinion that this Latin version was made in Egypt or its neighbourhood by a Palestinian Jew about the middle of the fifth century (pp.459-60). In 1895 Charles edited this text afresh in conjunction with the Ethiopic in the Oxford Anecdota (The Ethiopic Version of the Hebrew Book of Jubilees). To this work and that of Ronsch above the reader must be referred for a fuller treatment of this subject. Here we may draw attention to the following points. This version, where it is preserved, is almost of equal value with the Ethiopic. It has, however, suffered more at the hands of correctors. Thus it has been corrected in conformity with the LXX in xlvi. 14, where it adds 'et Oon' against all other authorities. The Ethiopic version of Exod. i. 11 might have been expected to bring about this addition in our Ethiopic text, but it did not. Two similar instances will be found in xvii. 5, xxiv. 20. Again the Latin version seems to have been influenced by the Vulgate in xxix. 13. xlii. II (canos meos where our Ethiopic text = ((Gk.) mou to geras) as in LXX of Gen. xlii. 38); and probably also in xlvii. 7, 8, and certainly in xlv. 12, where it reads 'in tota terra' for 'in terra'. Of course there is the possibility that the Latin has reproduced faithfully the Greek and that the Greek was faulty; or in case it was correct, that it was the Greek presupposed by our Ethiopic version that was at fault.

Two other passages are deserving of attention, xix. 14 and xxxix. 13. In the former the Latin version 'et creverunt et iuvenes facti sunt' agrees with the Ethiopic version of Gen. xxv. 27 against the Ethiopic version of Jubilees and all other authorities on Gen. xxv. 27. Here the peculiar reading can be best explained as having originated in the Greek. In the second passage, the clause 'eorum quae fiebant in carcere' agrees with the Ethiopic version of Gen. xxxix. 23 against the Ethiopic version of Jubilees and all other authorities on Gen. xxxix. 23. On the other hand, there is a large array of passages in which the Latin version preserves the true text over against corruptions or omissions in the Ethiopic version: cf. xvi. 16, xix. 5, 10, 11, xx. 6, 10, xxi. 3, xxii. 3, (see my Text, p. xvi).

(d) The Syriac Version. The evidence as to the existence of a Syriac is not conclusive. It is based on the fact that a British Museum MS. (Add. 12154, fol. 180) contains a Syriac fragment entitled, Names of the Wives of the Patriarchs according to the Hebrew Book called Jubilees.' It was first published by Ceriani in his Monumeitta Sacra, 1861, torn. ii. fasc. i. 9-10, and reprinted by Charles as Appendix III to his Text of Jubilees (p. 183).


Like all the biblical literature in Ethiopic, Jubilees was translated into Ethiopic from the Greek. Greek words such as (drus, balanos, lips, schinos, pharaggs, , are transliterated into Ethiopic. Secondly, many passages must be retranslated into Greek before we can discover the source of their corruptions. And finally, many names are transliterated as they appear in Greek and not in Hebrew.

That the Latin is derived directly from the Greek is no less obvious. Thus in xxxix. 12 ((Lt.) timoris = (Gk.) deilias), a corruption of douleias; in xxxviii. 13 ((Lt.) honorem = (Gk.) timen), which should have been rendered by (Lt.) tributum. Another class of mistranslations may be seen in passages where the Greek article is rendered by the Latin demonstrative as in (Lt.) huius Abrahae xxix. i6, huic Istrael xxxi. 15. Other evidence pointing in the same direction is to be found in the Greek constructions which have been reproduced in the Latin; such as xvii. 3 (Lt.) mem or fuit sermones' = (Gk.) hemnesthe tous logous: in xv. 22 (Lt.) consummavit loquens = (Gk.) Sunetelese lalon: in xxii. 8 (Lt.) 'in omnibus quibus dedisti' = en pasin ois edokas.


The early date of our book -the second century B.C.- and the fact that it was written in Palestine speak for a Semitic original, and the evidence for such an original is conclusive. But the question at once arises, was the original written in Hebrew or Aramaic? Certain proper names in the Latin version ending in -in seem to bespeak an Aramaic original, as Cettin xxiv. 28; Adurin xxxviii. 8,9; Filistin xxiv. 14-16. But since in all these cases the Ethiopic transliterations end in -n and not in -nit is not improbable that this Aramaising in the Latin version is due to the translator, who, as Ronsch has concluded on other grounds, was a Palestinian Jew. Again, in the list of the twelve trees suitable for burning on the altar some are transliterations of Aramaic names. But in a late Hebrew work -written at the close of the second century B.C.- the popular names of such objects would naturally be used. Moreover, in certain cases the Hebrew may have already been forgotten, or, when the tree had been lately introduced, been non-existent.

But the arguments for a Hebrew original are many and weighty. (1) A work which claims to be from the hand of Moses would naturally be written in Hebrew; for Hebrew, according to our author, was the sacred and national language, xii. 25-6; xliii. 15. (2) The revival of the national spirit is, so far as we know, accompanied by a revival of the national language. (3) The existing text must be retranslated into Hebrew in order to explain unintelligible expressions and restore the true text. Thus (Ar.) la 'eleja in xliii. 11 = (Gk.) en emoi; which is a mistranslation in this context of (Hb.); for (Hb.) here = (Gk.) deomai, 'pray,' as in Gen. xliv. 18. In xlvii. 9 the text = (Lt.) 'domum (= Hb. ) Faraonis', but the context demands (Lt.) 'filiam (= Hb.) Faraonis',though here the argument is not conclusive, since (Hb.) might have been corruptly written for (Hb.) which in Aramaic = 'daughter'. Again in xxxvi. 10 (cp. also xxxix. 6) the text = (Gk.) ouk anabesetai (= ja'arg) (Gk.) eis to biblion tes zoes. But ja'arg must = 'will be recorded'. Now this meaning is unattested elsewhere in Ethiopic, but the difficulty is solved when we find that it is a Hebrew idiom: see I Chron. xxvii. 24, 2 Chron. xx. 34. (4) Many paronomasiae discover themselves on retranslation into Hebrew, as in iv. 9 there is a play on the name Enoch, in iv. 15 on Jared, in viii. 8 on Peleg, (5) Many passages are preserved in Rabbinic writings, and the book has much matter in common with the Testaments xii Patriarchs, 'which was written about the same date in Hebrew. Both books, in fact, use a chronology peculiar to themselves. (6) Fragments of the original Hebrew text or of the sources used by its author are to be found in the Book of Noah and the Midrasch Wajjisau in Jellinek's Beth-ha-Midrasch, iii. 155-6, 3-5, reprinted in Charles's edition of the Ethiopic text on pp. 179-81.


A minute study of the text shows that it attests an independent form of the Hebrew text of Genesis and the early chapters of Exodus. Thus it agrees with individual authorities such as the Samaritan or the LXX, or the Syriac, or the Vulgate, or the Targum of Onkelos against all the rest. Or again it agrees with two or more of these authorities in opposition to the rest, as for instance with the Massoretic and Samaritan against the LXX, Syriac and Vulgate, or with the Massoretic and Onkelos against the Samaritan, LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate, or with the Massoretic, Samaritan and Syriac against the LXX or Vulgate. But the reader must here be referred to Charles's Book of Jubilees (pp. xxxiii--xxxix) for a full classification of these instances. A study of these phenomena proves that our book represents some form of the Hebrew text midway between the forms presupposed by the LXX and the Syriac; for it agrees more frequently with the LXX, or with combinations into which the LXX enters, than with any other single authority. Next to the LXX it agrees most often with the Syriac or with combinations into which the Syriac enters. On the other hand, its independence of the LXX is shown by a large array of readings, where it has the support of the Samaritan and Massoretic, or of these with various combinations of the Syriac, Vulgate and Onkelos. From these and like considerations we may conclude that the textual evidence points to the composition of our book at some period between 250 B.C. and 100 A.D. and at a time nearer the earlier date than the latter.


From a study of the facts which are referred to in the preceding Section it will be clear that before and after the Christian era the Hebrew text did not possess any hard and fast tradition. It will further be obvious that the Massoretic form of this text, which has so long been generally as conservative of the most ancient tradition and as therefore final, is after all only one of many phases through which the text passed in the process of over 1,000 years, ie. 400 B.C. till A.D. 600, or thereabouts.

As we pursue the examination of the materials just mentioned we shall see grounds for regarding the Massoretic text as the result partly of conscious recension and partly of unconscious change extending over many centuries. How this process affected the text in the centuries immediately preceding and subsequent to the Christian era, we have some means of determining in the Hebrew-Samaritan text which, however much it may have been tampered with on religious or polemical grounds, still preserves in many cases the older reading, even as it preserves the older of the alphabet. Next we have the LXX of the Pentateuch, to which we may assign the date 200 B.C.; next the Book of Jubilees just before the Christian era; the Syriac Pentateuch before A.D. 100; the Vulgate of the fourth century; the Targums of Onkelos and Ps.-Jon. in their present form A.D. 300-600.

We have above remarked that the evidence of 6 shows that the Massoretic text is only one of the phases through which the Hebrew text has passed; and if we consider afresh the materials of evidence suggested in that Section in connexion with their dates, and given in some fullness in the Introductions to Charles's Text and Commentary, we shall discover that in some respects it is one of the latest phases of the Hebrew Pentateuch that has been stereotyped by Jewish scholars in the Massoretic text.

This conclusion will tally perfectly with the tradition that all existing Massoretic MSS. are derived in the main from one archetype, i.e. the Hebrew Codex left behind him by Ben Asher, who lived in the tenth century, and whose family had lived at Tiberias in the eighth.

We shall now proceed to give a list of readings in the Massoretic text which should be corrected into accord with the readings attested by such great authorities as the Sam., LXX, Jub., Syr., VuIg.

The following list was published in Charles's Ethiopic Version of the Hebrew Book of Jubilees in 1895. More than two-thirds of the emendations of the Book of Genesis here suggested were subsequently accepted independently, on the evidence of the Sam., LXX, Syr., Vulg., without a knowledge of Jubilees, by C.J. Ball in his edition of the Hebrew Text of Genesis, 1896, by Kittel in his edition of the Hebrew Text of Genesis, 1905, and more than half in the recent Commentary of Gunkel.

(What follows contains many phrases written in Hebrew. At the time of scanning there was not an accessible means to accurately reproduce the Hebrew script. If this information is desired please see Mr. Charles book.)


(a) Jubilees was written between 153 B.C. and the year of Hyrcanus' breach with the Pharisees. (1) It was written during the pontificate of the Maccabean family, and not earlier than 155 B.C., when this office was assumed by Jonathan the Maccabee. For in xxxii. 1, Levi is called a 'priest of the Most High God.' Now the only Jewish high-priests who bore this title were the Maccabean, who appear to have assumed it as reviving the order of Melchizedek when they displaced the Zadokite order of Aaron. Despite the objections of the Pharisees, it was used by the Maccabean princes down to Hyrcanus II (Jos. Ant. xvi. 6.2). (2) It was written before 96 B.C.; for since our author was of the strictest sect a Pharisee and at the same time an upholder of the Maccabean pontificate, Jubilees cannot have been written later than 96, when the Pharisees and Alexander Jannaeus were openly engaged in mortal strife. (3) It was written before the public breach between Hyrcanus and the Pharisees when Hyrcanus joined the Sadducean party. As Hyrcanus died in 105, our book was written between 153 and 105.

But it is possible to define these limits more closely. The book presupposes as its historical background the most flourishing period of the Maccabean hegemony -such as that under Simon and Hyrcanus. The conquest of Edom, which was achieved by the latter, is referred to in xxxviii. 14. Again our text reflects accurately the intense hatred of Judah towards the Philistines in the second century B.C. It declares that they will fall into the hands of the righteous nation, and we learn from I Macc. and Josephus that Ashdod and Gaza were destroyed by Hyrcanus and Alexander Jannaeus respectively. But it is in the destruction of Samaria, which is adumbrated in the destruction of Shechem, xxx. 4-6, that we are to look for the true terminus a quo. Now all accounts agree in representing the destruction of Samaria as effected by Hyrcanus about four years before his death. Hence we conclude that Jubilees was written between 109 and 105 B.C.

Many other phenomena point to the second-century origin of our book, which are given in Charles's edition, pp. lviii-lxvi. Amongst these we might mention the currency of older and severer forms of the halacha than prevailed in the rabbinical schools, or were registered in the Mishnah. The severe halacha regarding the sabbath in 1.8, 12, were indubitably in force in the second century B.C., if not earlier, but were afterwards mitigated by the Mishnah and later Judaism. Again the strict halacha in xv. 14 regarding circumcision on the eighth day was a current, probably the current, view in the second century B.C. and earlier, since it has the support of the Samaritan text and the LXX. This strict law was subsequently relaxed in the Mishnah. In xxxii. 15 the severe law of tithing found in Lev. xxvii. 15 is enforced, but rabbinic tradition sought to weaken the statement. As regards the halacha laid down in iii. 31 regarding the duty of covering one's shame, it is highly probable that such a halacha did exist in the second century B.C., when Judaism was protesting against the exposure of the person in the Greek games. See also iii. 8-14 notes and xx. 4 note.

Other cases of strict rules afterwards relaxed are the limitation of trees for use with burnt offerings (see xxi. 12-15 notes), the restriction of the eating of the passover to the court of the Lords house (see xlix. 20 note), the close adherence to the exacting demand of Lev. xix. 24 that the fourth year's fruit should be holy (see vii. 36 notes), though here we have a variant reading. Note that the rest of the firstfruits belong to the priests, who are to eat them 'before the altar.' On the other hand, the thank-offerings in xxi. 8-10 do not belong to the priest. The computation of the Feast of Weeks is different from the later prevalent Pharisaic reckoning (see xv. 1 note; xvi. 13, xliv. 4-5), while the account of the Feast of Tabernacles in xvi. 21-31 is peculiar to Jubilees.

Finally, we might draw attention to the fact that the Pharisaic regulation about pouring water on the altar (Jer. Sukk. iv. 6; Sukk. 44a) at the feast of tabernacles appears to have been unknown to him. We know that the attempt of the Pharisees to enforce its adoption on Alexander Jannaeus resulted in a massacre of the former. Attention might also be drawn to the fact that the Priests and Levites still numbered in their ranks, as in the days of the author of Chronicles, the masters of the schools and the men of learning, and that these positions were not filled as in the days of Shammai and Hillel by men drawn from the laity. This inference is to be deduced from the fact that the Levites are represented as the guardians of the sacred books and of the secret lore transmitted from the worthies of old time (x. 4, xlv. 16).

(b) Date of the Ethiopic and Latin Versions. There is no evidence for determining the exact date of the Ethiopic version, but since it was practically regarded as a canonical book it was probably made in the sixth century. Ronsch, as we have already pointed out in 4, gives some evidence for regarding the Latin version as made in the fifth century.


Our book is the work of one author, but is largely based on earlier books and traditions. The narrative of Genesis forms of course the bulk of the book, but much that is characteristic in it is due to his use of many pseudepigraphic and ancient traditions. Amongst the former might be mentioned the Book of Noah, from which in a modified form he borrows vii. 20-39, x. 1-15. In vii. 26-39 he reproduces his source so faithfully that he leaves the persons unchanged, and forgets to adapt this fragment to its new context. Similarly our author lays the Book of Enoch under contribution, and is of great value in this respect in determining the dates of the various sections of this book. See Introd. to I Book of Enoch, in loc. For other authorities and traditions used by our author see Charles's edition, 13.


The Chronicler rewrote with an object the earlier history of Israel and Judah already recounted in Samuel and Kings. His object was to represent David and his pious successors as observing all the prescripts of the law according to the Priests' Code. In the course of this process all facts that did not square with the Chronicler's presuppositions were either omitted or transformed. Now the author of Jubilees sought to do for Genesis what the Chronicler had done for Samuel and Kings, and so he rewrote it in such a way as to show that the law was rigorously observed even by the Patriarchs. The author represents his book to be as a whole a revelation of God to Moses, forming a supplement to and an interpretation of the Pentateuch, which he designates 'the first law' (vi. 22). This revelation was in part a secret republication of the traditions handed down from father to son in antediluvian and subsequent times. From the time of Moses onwards it was preserved in the hands of the priesthood, till the time came for its being made known.

Our author's procedure is of course in direct antagonism with the presuppositions of the Priests' Code in Genesis, for according to this code 'Noah may build no altar, Abraham offer no sacrifice, Jacob erect no sacred pillar. No offering is recorded till Aaron and his sons are ready' (Carpenter, The Hexateuch, i. 124). This fact seems to emphasize in the strongest manner how freely our author reinterpreted his authorities for the past. But he was only using to the full a right that had been exercised for nearly four centuries already in regard to Prophecy and for four or thereabouts in regard to the law.


The object of our author was to defend Judaism against the disintegrating effects of Hellenism, and this he did (a) by glorifying the law as an eternal ordinance and representing the patriarchs as models of piety; (b) by glorifying Israel and insisting on its separation from the Gentiles; and (e) by denouncing the Gentiles and particularly Israel's national enemies. In this last respect Judaism regarded its own attitude to the Gentiles as not only justifiable but also just, because it was a reflection of the divine.

But on (a) it is to be observed further that to our author the law, as a whole, was the realization in time of what was in a sense timeless and eternal. It was observed not only on earth by Israel but in heaven. Parts of the law might have only a time reference, to Israel on earth, but in the privileges of circumcision and the Sabbath, as its highest and everlasting expression, the highest orders of archangels in heaven shared with Israel (ii. i8, 19, 21; xv. 26-28). The law, therefore, was supreme, and could admit of no assessor in the form of Prophecy. There was no longer any prophet because the law had made the free exercise of his gift an offence against itself and God. So far, therefore, as Prophecy existed, it could exist only under the guise of pseudonymity. The seer, who had like Daniel and others a message for his time, could only gain a hearing by issuing it under the name of some ancient worthy.


Since our author was an upholder of the everlasting validity of the law, and held the strictest views on circumcision, the Sabbath, and the duty of complete separation from the Gentiles, since he believed in angels and demons and a blessed immortality, he was unquestionably a Pharisee of the strictest sect. In the next place, he was a supporter of the Maccabean pontificate. He glorifies Levi's successors as high-priests and civil rulers, and applies to them the title priests of the Most High God '-the title assumed by the Maccabean princes (xxxii. 1). He was not, however, so thoroughgoing an admirer of this dynasty as the authors of Test. Lev. xviii. or Ps. cx, who expected the Messiah to come forth from the Maccabean family. Finally, that our author was a priest might reasonably be inferred from the exaltation of Levi over Judah (xxxi-xxxii), and from the statement in xlv. i6 that the secret traditions, which our author claims to publish, were kept in the hands of Levi's descendants.


On the influence of Jubilees on I Enoch i-v, xci-civ, Wisdom (?), 4 Ezra, Chronicles of Jerachmeel, Midrash Tadshe, Book of Jasher, the Samaritan Chronicle, on Patristic and other writings, and on the New Testament writers, see Charles's edition, pp. lxxiii-lxxxvi.


Freedom and determinism. The author of Jubilees is a true Pharisee in that he combines belief in Divine omnipotence and providence with the belief in human freedom and responsibility. He would have adopted heartily the statement of the Pss. Sol. ix. 7 (written some sixty years or more later) (Gk.) ta erga emon en ekloge kai exousia tes psuches emon, tou poiesai dikaiosunen kai adikian en ergois cheiron emon: v. 6 anthropos kai e meris autou para soi en stathmo ou prosthesei tou pleonasai para to krima sou, o theos. Thus the path in which a man should walk is ordained for him and the judgement of all men predetermined on the heavenly tablets: 'And the judgment of all is ordained and written on the heavenly tablets in righteousness -even the judgment of all who depart from the path which is ordained for them to walk in' (v.13). This idea of an absolute determinism underlies many conceptions of the heavenly tablets (see Charles's edition, iii. 10 note). On the other hand, man's freedom and responsibility are fully recognized: 'If they walk not therein, judgment is written down for every creature' (v. 13): 'Beware lest thou walk in their ways, And tread in their paths, And sin a sin unto death before the Most High God. Else He will give thee back into the hand of thy transgression.' Even when a man has sinned deeply he can repent and be forgiven (xli. 24 seq.), but the human will needs the strengthening of a moral dynamic: 'May the Most High God . . . strengthen thee to do His will' (xxi. 25, xxii. 10).

The Fall. The effects of the Fall were limited to Adam and the animal creation. Adam was driven from the garden (iii. 17 seqq.) and the animal creation was robbed of the power of speech (iii. 28). But the subsequent depravity of the human race is not traced to the Fall but to the seduction of the daughters of men by the angels, who had been sent down to instruct men (v.1-4), and to the solicitations of demonic spirits (vii. 27). The evil engendered by the former was brought to an end by the destruction of all the descendants of the angels and of their victims by the Deluge, but the incitement to sin on the part of the demons was to last to the final judgement (vii. 27, x. 1-15, xi. 4 seq., xii. 20). This last view appears in I Enoch and the N.T.

The Law. The law was of eternal validity. It was not the expression of the religious consciousness of one or of several ages, but the revelation in time of what was valid from the beginning and unto all eternity. The various enactments of the law moral and ritual, were written on the heavenly tablets (iii. 31, vi. 17, ) and revealed to man through the mediation of angels (i. 27). This conception of the law, as I have already pointed out, made prophecy impossible unless under the guise of pseudonymity. Since the law was the ultimate and complete expression of absolute truth, there was no room for any further revelation: much less could any such revelation, were it conceivable, supersede a single jot or tittle of the law as already revealed. The ideal of the faithful Jew was to be realized in the fulfilment of the moral and ritual precepts of this law: the latter were of no less importance than the former. Though this view of morality tends to be mainly external, our author strikes a deeper note when he declares that, when Israel turned to God with their whole heart, He would circumcise the foreskin of their heart and create a right spirit within them and cleanse them, so that they would not turn away from Him for ever (i. 23). Our author specially emphasizes certain elements of the law such as circumcision (xvi. 14, xv. 26, 29), the Sabbath (ii. 18 seq., 31 seq.), eating of blood (vi. 14), tithing of the tithe (xxxii. 10), Feast of Tabernacles (xvi. 29), Feast of Weeks (vi. 17), the absolute prohibition of mixed marriages (xx. 4, xxii. 20, xxv. 1-10). In connexion with many of these he enunciates halacha which belong to an earlier date than those in the Mishnah, but which were either modified or abrogated by later authorities.

The Messiah. Although our author is an upholder of the Maccabean dynasty he still clings like the writer of I Enoch lxxxiii-xc to the hope of a Messiah sprung from Judah. He makes, however, only one reference to this Messiah, and no role of any importance is assigned to him (see Charles's edition, xxxi. 18 n.). The Messianic expectation showed no vigorous life throughout this century till it was identified with the Maccabean family. If we are right in regarding the Messianic kingdom as of temporary duration, this is the first instance in which the Messiah is associated with a temporary Messianic kingdom.

The Messianic kingdom. According to our author (i. 29, xxiii. 30) this kingdom was to be brought about gradually by the progressive spiritual development of man and a corresponding transformation of nature. Its members were to attain to the full limit of 1,000 years in happiness and peace. During its continuance the powers of evil were to be restrained (xxiii. 29). The last judgement was apparently to take place at its close (xxiii. 30). This view was possibly derived from Mazdeism.

The writer of Jubilees, we can hardly doubt, thought that the era of the Messianic kingdom had already set in. Such an expectation was often cherished in the prosperous days of the Maccabees. Thus it was entertained by the writer of I Enoch lxxxiii-xc in the days of Judas before 161 B.C. Whether Jonathan was looked upon as the divine agent for introducing the kingdom we cannot say, but as to Simon being regarded in this light there is no doubt. Indeed, his contemporaries came to regard him as the Messiah himself, as we see from Psalm cx, or Hyrcanus in the noble Messianic hymn in Test. Levi 18. The tame effus1on in 1 Macc. xiv. 8-15 is a relic of such literature, which was emasculated by its Sadducean editor. Simon was succeeded by John Hyrcanus in 135 B.C. and this great prince seemed to his countrymen to realize the expectations of the past; for according to a contemporary writer (Test. Levi 8) he embraced in his own person the triple office of prophet, priest, and civil ruler (xxxi. i5), while according to the Test. Reuben 6 he was to 'die on behalf of Israel in wars seen and unseen'. In both these passages he seems to be accorded the Messianic office, but not so in our author, as we have seen above. Hyrcanus is only to introduce the Messianic kingdom, over which the Messiah sprung from Judah is to rule.

Priesthood of Melchizedek. That there was originally an account of Melchizedek in our text we have shown in the note on xiii. 2,5, and, that the Maccabean high-priests deliberately adopted the title applied to him in Gen. xiv, we have pointed out in the note on xxxii. I. It would be interesting to inquire how far the writer of Hebrews was indebted to the history of the great Maccabean king-priests for the idea of the Melchizedekian priesthood of which he has made so fruitful a use in chap. vii as applied to our Lord.

The Future Life. In our text all hope of a resurrection of the body is abandoned. The souls of the righteous will enjoy a blessed immortality after death (xxiii. 31). This is the earliest attested instance of this expectation in the last two centuries B.C. It is next found in Enoch xci-civ.

The Jewish Calendar. For our author's peculiar views see Charles's edition 18 and the notes on vi. 29-30, 32, xv. I.

Angelology. We shall confine our attention here to notable parallels between our author and the New Testament. Besides the angels of the presence and the angels of sanctification there are the angels who are set over natural phenomena (ii. 2). These angels are inferior to the former. They do not observe the Sabbath as the higher orders; for they are necessarily always engaged in their duties (ii. 18). It is the higher orders that are generally referred to in the New Testament but the angels over natural phenomena are referred to in Revelation: angels of the winds in vii. 1, 2, the angel of fire in xiv. 18, the angel of the waters in xvi. 5 (cf. Jub. ii. 2). Again, the guardian angels of individuals, which the New Testament refers to in Matt. xviii. 10 (Acts xii. 15), are mentioned, for the first time in Jubilees xxxv. 17. On the angelology of our author see Charles's edition.

Demonology. The demonology of our author reappears for the most part in the New Testament:

(a) The angels which kept not their first estate, Jude 6 ; 2 Peter ii. 4, are the angelic watchers who, though sent down to instruct mankind (Jub. iv. 15), fell from lusting after the daughters of men. Their fall and punishment are recorded in Jub. iv. 22, v.1-9.

(b) The demons are the spirits which went forth from the souls of the giants who were the children of the fallen angels, Jub. v. 7, 9. These demons attacked men and ruled over them (x. 3, 6). Their purpose is to corrupt and lead astray and destroy the wicked (x. 8). They are subject to the prince Mastema (x. 9), or Satan. Men sacrifice to them as gods (xxii. 17). They are to pursue their work of moral ruin till the judgement of Mastema (x. 8) or the setting up of the Messianic kingdom, when Satan will be no longer able to injure mankind (xxiii. 29).

So in the New Testament, the demons are disembodied spirits (Matt. xii. 43-5; Luke xi. 24-6). Their chief is Satan (Mark iii. 22). They are treated as divinities of the heathen (I Cor. x. 20). They are not to be punished till the final judgement (Matt. viii. 29). On the advent of the Millennium Satan will be bound (Rev. xx. 2-3).

Judgement. The doctrine of retribution is strongly enforced by our author. It is to be individual and national in this world and in the next. As regards the individual the law of exact retribution is according to our author not merely an enactment of human justice -the ancient lox talionis, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; it is observed by God in His government of the world. The penalty follows in the line of the sin. This view is enforced in 2 Macc. v. 10, where it is said of Jason, that, as he robbed multitudes of the rites of sepulture, so he himself was deprived of them in turn, and in xv. 32 seq. it is recounted of Nicanor that he was punished in those members with which he had sinned. So also in our text in reference to Cain iv. 31 seq. and the Egyptians xlviii. 14. Taken crassly and mechanically the above law is without foundation, but spiritually conceived it represented the profound truth of the kinship of the penalty to the sin enunciated repeatedly in the New Testament: 'Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap' (Gal. vi.;); 'he that doeth wrong shall receive again the wrong that he hath done' (Col. iii. 25, ). Again in certain cases the punishment was to follow instantaneously on the transgression (xxxvii. 17).

The final judgement was to take place at the close of the Messianic kingdom (xxiii. 30). This judgement embraces the human and superhuman worlds (v. 10 seq., 14). At this judgement there will be no respect of persons, but all will be judged according to their opportunities and abilities (v. 15 seq.). From the standpoint of our author there could be no hope for the Gentiles.


(a) Greek Version: see above, 4 (a). Ethiopic Version: this text was first edited by Dillmann from two MSS. cd in 1859, and by R. H. Charles from four MSS. abcd. The Ethiopic Version of the Hebrew Book of Jubilees with the Hebrew, Syriac, Greek, and Latin Fragments, Oxford, 1895. Latin Version: see above, 4 (a).

(b) Translations. Dillrnann, Das Buch der Jubilaen . . . aus dem Aethiopischen ubersetzt (Ewald's Jahrbucher d. bibl. Wissensch., 1850-1, ii. 230-56; iii. 1-96). This translation is based on only one MS. Schodde, The Book of Jubilees, translated from the Ethiopic ('Bibliotheca Sacra,' 1885-7): Charles, The Book of Jubilees, translated from a text based on two hitherto uncollated Ethiopic MSS. (Jewish Quarterly Review, 1893, v. 703-8; 1894, vi. 184-217, 710-45; 1895, vii. 297-328): Littmann, Das Buch der Jubilaen (Kantzsch's Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen des A. T., 1900, ii. 31-119). This translation is based on Charles's text.

(c) Commentaries. Charles, The Book ofjubilees, 1902. Ronsch published a Commentary on the Latin Version. See above, 4.

(d) Critical Inquiries. Dillmann, 'Pseudepigraphen des A. T.,' Herzog's R. E.2, xii. 364-5; 'Beitrage aus dem Buche der Jubilaen zur Kritik des Pentateuch-Textes' (Sitzungsberichte der kgl. preussischen Akad., 1883); Beer, Das Buch der Jubilaen, 1856; Singer, Das Buck der Jubilaen, 1898; Bohn, 'Die Pedeutung des Buches der Jubilaen' (Theol. Stud. u. Kritiken, 1900, 167-84). For a full bibliography see Charles's Commentary or Schurer.


Notes and dates added by Mr. Charles will not be given due to length and difficulty in scanning and editing. If this information is desired, please see his book.

Jubilees 1

The Book of Jubilees

From The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament

by R.H. Charles, Oxford: Clarendon Press,


Scanned and Edited by Joshua Williams, Northwest Nazarene College.

Chapter 1

Moses receives the tables of the law and instruction on past and future history which he is to inscribe in a book, 1-4. Apostasy of Israel,5-9. Captivity of Israel and Judah, 10-13. Return of Judah and rebuilding of the temple, 15-18. Moses' prayer for Israel, 19-21. God's promise to redeem and dwell with them, 22-5, 28. Moses bidden to write down the future history of the world (the Book of Jubilees?), 26. And an angel to write down the law, 27. This angel takes the heavenly chronological tablets to dictate therefrom to Moses, 29. THIS is the history of the division of the days of the law and of the testimony, of the events of the years, of their (year) weeks, of their Jubilees throughout all the years of the world, as the Lord spake to Moses on Mount Sinai when he went up to receive the tables of the law and of the commandment, according to the voice of God as he said unto him, 'Go up to the top of the Mount.'

And it came to pass in the first year of the exodus of the children of Israel out of Egypt, in the third month, on the sixteenth day of the month, (2450 Anno Mundi) that God spake to Moses, saying: 'Come up to Me on the Mount, and I will give thee two tables of stone of the law and of the commandment, which I have written, that thou mayst teach them.'

And Moses went up into the mount of God, and the glory of the Lord abode on Mount Sinai, and a cloud overshadowed it six days.

And He called to Moses on the seventh day out of the midst of the cloud, and the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a flaming fire on the top of the mount.

And Moses was on the Mount forty days and forty nights, and God taught him the earlier and the later history of the division of all the days of the law and of the testimony.

And He said: 'Incline thine heart to every word which I shall speak to thee on this mount, and write them in a book in order that their generations may see how I have not forsaken them for all the evil which they have wrought in transgressing the covenant which I establish between Me and thee for their generations this day on Mount Sinai.

And thus it will come to pass when all these things come upon them, that they will recognise that I am more righteous than they in all their judgments and in all their actions, and they will recognise that I have been truly with them.

And do thou write for thyself all these words which I declare unto, thee this day, for I know their rebellion and their stiff neck, before I bring them into the land of which I sware to their fathers, to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob, saying: ' Unto your seed will I give a land flowing with milk and honey.

And they will eat and be satisfied, and they will turn to strange gods, to (gods) which cannot deliver them from aught of their tribulation: and this witness shall be heard for a witness against them. For they will forget all My commandments, (even) all that I command them, and they will walk after the Gentiles, and after their uncleanness, and after their shame, and will serve their gods, and these will prove unto them an offence and a tribulation and an affliction and a snare.

And many will perish and they will be taken captive, and will fall into the hands of the enemy, because they have forsaken My ordinances and My commandments, and the festivals of My covenant, and My sabbaths, and My holy place which I have hallowed for Myself in their midst, and My tabernacle, and My sanctuary, which I have hallowed for Myself in the midst of the land, that I should set my name upon it, and that it should dwell (there).

And they will make to themselves high places and groves and graven images, and they will worship, each his own (graven image), so as to go astray, and they will sacrifice their children to demons, and to all the works of the error of their hearts.

And I will send witnesses unto them, that I may witness against them, but they will not hear, and will slay the witnesses also, and they will persecute those who seek the law, and they will abrogate and change everything so as to work evil before My eyes.

And I will hide My face from them, and I will deliver them into the hand of the Gentiles for captivity, and for a prey, and for devouring, and I will remove them from the midst of the land, and I will scatter them amongst the Gentiles.

And they will forget all My law and all My commandments and all My judgments, and will go astray as to new moons, and sabbaths, and festivals, and jubilees, and ordinances.

And after this they will turn to Me from amongst the Gentiles with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their strength, and I will gather them from amongst all the Gentiles, and they will seek me, so that I shall be found of them, when they seek me with all their heart and with all their soul.

And I will disclose to them abounding peace with righteousness, and I will remove them the plant of uprightness, with all My heart and with all My soul, and they shall be for a blessing and not for a curse, and they shall be the head and not the tail.

And I will build My sanctuary in their midst, and I will dwell with them, and I will be their God and they shall be My people in truth and righteousness.

And I will not forsake them nor fail them; for I am the Lord their God.'

And Moses fell on his face and prayed and said, 'O Lord my God, do not forsake Thy people and Thy inheritance, so that they should wander in the error of their hearts, and do not deliver them into the hands of their enemies, the Gentiles, lest they should rule over them and cause them to sin against Thee.

Let thy mercy, O Lord, be lifted up upon Thy people, and create in them an upright spirit, and let not the spirit of Beliar rule over them to accuse them before Thee, and to ensnare them from all the paths of righteousness, so that they may perish from before Thy face.

But they are Thy people and Thy inheritance, which thou hast delivered with thy great power from the hands of the Egyptians: create in them a clean heart and a holy spirit, and let them not be ensnared in their sins from henceforth until eternity.'

And the Lord said unto Moses: 'I know their contrariness and their thoughts and their stiffneckedness, and they will not be obedient till they confess their own sin and the sin of their fathers.

And after this they will turn to Me in all uprightness and with all (their) heart and with all (their) soul, and I will circumcise the foreskin of their heart and the foreskin of the heart of their seed, and I will create in them a holy spirit, and I will cleanse them so that they shall not turn away from Me from that day unto eternity.

And their souls will cleave to Me and to all My commandments, and they will fulfil My commandments, and I will be their Father and they shall be My children.

And they all shall be called children of the living God, and every angel and every spirit shall know, yea, they shall know that these are My children, and that I am their Father in uprightness and righteousness, and that I love them.

And do thou write down for thyself all these words which I declare unto thee on this mountain, the first and the last, which shall come to pass in all the divisions of the days in the law and in the testimony and in the weeks and the jubilees unto eternity, until I descend and dwell with them throughout eternity.'

And He said to the angel of the presence: Write for Moses from the beginning of creation till My sanctuary has been built among them for all eternity.

And the Lord will appear to the eyes of all, and all shall know that I am the God of Israel and the Father of all the children of Jacob, and King on Mount Zion for all eternity. And Zion and Jerusalem shall be holy.'

And the angel of the presence who went before the camp of Israel took the tables of the divisions of the years -from the time of the creation- of the law and of the testimony of the weeks of the jubilees, according to the individual years, according to all the number of the jubilees (according, to the individual years), from the day of the (new) creation when the heavens and the earth shall be renewed and all their creation according to the powers of the heaven, and according to all the creation of the earth, until the sanctuary of the Lord shall be made in Jerusalem on Mount Zion, and all the luminaries be renewed for healing and for peace and for blessing for all the elect of Israel, and that thus it may be from that day and unto all the days of the earth.

Jubilees 3

The Book of Jubilees

From The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament

by R.H. Charles, Oxford: Clarendon Press,


Scanned and Edited by Joshua Williams, Northwest Nazarene College.

Chapter 3

Adam names all creatures, 1-3. Creaton of Eve and enactment of Levitical laws of purification, 4-14. Adam and Eve in Paradise: their sin and expulsion, 15-29. Law of covering one's shame enacted, 30-2. Adam and Eve live in d 32-5. (Cf. Gen. ii.18-25, iii.)

And on the six days of the second week we brought, according to the word of God, unto Adam all the beasts, and all the cattle, and all the birds, and everything that moves on the earth, and everything that moves in the water, according to their kinds, and according to their types: the beasts on the first day; the cattle on the second day; the birds on the third day; and all that which moves on the earth on the fourth day; and that which moves in the water on the fifth day.

And Adam named them all by their respective names, and as he called them, so was their name.

And on these five days Adam saw all these, male and female, according to every kind that was on the earth, but he was alone and found no helpmeet for him.

And the Lord said unto us: 'It is not good that the man should be alone: let us make a helpmeet for him.'

And the Lord our God caused a deep sleep to fall upon him, and he slept, and He took for the woman one rib from amongst his ribs, and this rib was the origin of the woman from amongst his ribs, and He built up the flesh in its stead, and built the woman.

And He awaked Adam out of his sleep and on awaking he rose on the sixth day, and He brought her to him, and he knew her, and said unto her: 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called (my) wife; because she was taken from her husband.'

Therefore shall man and wife be one and therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.

In the first week was Adam created, and the rib -his wife: in the second week He showed her unto him: and for this reason the commandment was given to keep in their defilement, for a male seven days, and for a female twice seven days.

And after Adam had completed forty days in the land where he had been created, we brought him into the garden of Eden to till and keep it, but his wife they brought in on the eightieth day, and after this she entered into the garden of Eden.

And for this reason the commandment is written on the heavenly tablets in regard to her that gives birth: 'if she bears a male, she shall remain in her uncleanness seven days according to the first week of days, and thirty and three days shall she remain in the blood of her purifying, and she shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor enter into the sanctuary, until she accomplishes these days which (are enjoined) in the case of a male child.

But in the case of a female child she shall remain in her uncleanness two weeks of days, according to the first two weeks, and sixty-six days in the blood of her purification, and they will be in all eighty days.'

And when she had completed these eighty days we brought her into the garden of Eden, for it is holier than all the earth besides and every tree that is planted in it is holy.

Therefore, there was ordained regarding her who bears a male or a female child the statute of those days that she should touch no hallowed thing, nor enter into the sanctuary until these days for the male or female child are accomplished.

This is the law and testimony which was written down for Israel, in order that they should observe (it) all the days.

And in the first week of the first jubilee, (1-7 AM) Adam and his wife were in the garden of Eden for seven years tilling and keeping it, and we gave him work and we instructed him to do everything that is suitable for tillage.

And he tilled (the garden), and was naked and knew it not, and was not ashamed, and he protected the garden from the birds and beasts and cattle, and gathered its fruit, and eat, and put aside the residue for himself and for his wife (and put aside that which was being kept).

And after the completion of the seven years, which he had completed there, seven years exactly, (8 AM) and in the second month, on the seventeenth day (of the month), the serpent came and approached the woman, and the serpent said to the woman, 'Hath God commanded you, saying, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'

And she said to it, 'Of all the fruit of the trees of the garden God hath said unto us, Eat; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden God hath said unto us, Ye shall not eat thereof, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.'

And the serpent said unto the woman, 'Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that on the day ye shall eat thereof, your eyes will be opened, and ye will be as gods, and ye will know good and evil.

And the woman saw the tree that it was agreeable and pleasant to the eye, and that its fruit was good for food, and she took thereof and eat.

And when she had first covered her shame with figleaves, she gave thereof to Adam and he eat, and his eyes were opened, and he saw that he was naked.

And he took figleaves and sewed (them) together, and made an apron for himself, and ,covered his shame.

And God cursed the serpent, and was wroth with it for ever . . .

And He was wroth with the woman, because she harkened to the voice of the serpent, and did eat; and He said unto her: 'I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy pains: in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy return shall be unto thy husband, and he will rule over thee.'

And to Adam also he said, ' Because thou hast harkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat thereof, cursed be the ground for thy sake: thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat thy bread in the sweat of thy face, till thou returnest to the earth from whence thou wast taken; for earth thou art, and unto earth shalt thou return.'

And He made for them coats of skin, and clothed them, and sent them forth from the Garden of Eden.

And on that day on which Adam went forth from the Garden, he offered as a sweet savour an offering, frankincense, galbanum, and stacte, and spices in the morning with the rising of the sun from the day when he covered his shame.

And on that day was closed the mouth of all beasts, and of cattle, and of birds, and of whatever walks, and of whatever moves, so that they could no longer speak: for they had all spoken one with another with one lip and with one tongue.

And He sent out of the Garden of Eden all flesh that was in the Garden of Eden, and all flesh was scattered according to its kinds, and according to its types unto the places which had been created for them.

And to Adam alone did He give (the wherewithal) to cover his shame, of all the beasts and cattle.

On this account, it is prescribed on the heavenly tablets as touching all those who know the judgment of the law, that they should cover their shame, and should not uncover themselves as the Gentiles uncover themselves.

And on the new moon of the fourth month, Adam and his wife went forth from the Garden of Eden, and they dwelt in the land of Elda in the land of their creation.

And Adam called the name of his wife Eve.

And they had no son till the first jubilee, (49 AM) and after this he knew her.

Now he tilled the land as he had been instructed in the Garden of Eden.

Jubilees 2

The Book of Jubilees

From The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament

by R.H. Charles, Oxford: Clarendon Press,


Scanned and Edited by Joshua Williams, Northwest Nazarene College.

Chapter 2

The history of the twenty-two distinct acts of creation on the six days, 1-16. Institution of the Sabbath: its observance by the highest angels, with whom Israel is afterwards to be associated, 17-32. (cf. Gen. i-ii. 3.)

And the angel of the presence spake to Moses according to the word of the Lord, saying: Write the complete history of the creation, how in six days the Lord God finished all His works and all that He created, and kept Sabbath on the seventh day and hallowed it for all ages, and appointed it as a sign for all His works.

For on the first day He created the heavens which are above and the earth and the waters and all the spirits which serve before him -the angels of the presence, and the angels of sanctification, and the angels (of the spirit of fire and the angels) of the spirit of the winds, and the angels of the spirit of the clouds, and of darkness, and of snow and of hail and of hoar frost, and the angels of the voices and of the thunder and of the lightning, and the angels of the spirits of cold and of heat, and of winter and of spring and of autumn and of summer and of all the spirits of his creatures which are in the heavens and on the earth, (He created) the abysses and the darkness, eventide and night, and the light, dawn and day, which He hath prepared in the knowledge of his heart. And thereupon we saw His works, and praised Him, and lauded before Him on account of all His works; for seven great works did He create on the first day.

And on the second day He created the firmament in the midst of the waters, and the waters were divided on that day -half of them went up above and half of them went down below the firmament (that was) in the midst over the face of the whole earth. And this was the only work (God) created on the second day.

And on the third day He commanded the waters to pass from off the face of the whole earth into one place, and the dry land to appear. And the waters did so as He commanded them, and they retired from off the face of the earth into one place outside of this firmament, and the dry land appeared. And on that day He created for them all the seas according to their separate gathering-places, and all the rivers, and the gatherings of the waters in the mountains and on all the earth, and all the lakes, and all the dew of the earth, and the seed which is sown, and all sprouting things, and fruit-bearing trees, and trees of the wood, and the garden of Eden, in Eden and all plants after their kind. These four great works God created on the third day.

And on the fourth day He created the sun and the moon and the stars, and set them in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon all the earth, and to rule over the day and the night, and divide the light from the darkness. And God appointed the sun to be a great sign on the earth for days and for sabbaths and for months and for feasts and for years and for sabbaths of years and for jubilees and for all seasons of the years. And it divideth the light from the darkness (and) for prosperity, that all things may prosper which shoot and grow on the earth. These three kinds He made on the fourth day.

And on the fifth day He created great sea monsters in the depths of the waters, for these were the first things of flesh that were created by his hands, the fish and everything that moves in the waters, and everything that flies, the birds and all their kind. And the sun rose above them to prosper (them), and above everything that was on the earth, everything that shoots out of the earth, and all fruit-bearing trees, and all flesh. These three kinds He created on the fifth day.

And on the sixth day He created all the animals of the earth, and all cattle, and everything that moves on the earth. And after all this He created man, a man and a woman created He them, and gave him dominion over all that is upon the earth, and in the seas, and over everything that flies, and over beasts and over cattle, and over everything that moves on the earth, and over the whole earth, and over all this He gave him dominion. And these four kinds He created on the sixth day. And there were altogether two and twenty kinds.

And He finished all his work on the sixth day -all that is in the heavens and on the earth, and in the seas and in the abysses, and in the light and in the darkness, and in everything. And He gave us a great sign, the Sabbath day, that we should work six days, but keep Sabbath on the seventh day from all work. And all the angels of the presence, and all the angels of sanctification, these two great classes -He hath bidden us to keep the Sabbath with Him in heaven and on earth.

And He said unto us: 'Behold, I will separate unto Myself a people from among all the peoples, and these shall keep the Sabbath day, and I will sanctify them unto Myself as My people, and will bless them; as I have sanctified the Sabbath day and do sanctify (it) unto Myself, even so will I bless them, and they shall be My people and I will be their God.

And I have chosen the seed of Jacob from amongst all that I have seen, and have written him down as My first-born son, and have sanctified him unto Myself for ever and ever; and I will teach them the Sabbath day, that they may keep Sabbath thereon from all work.' And thus He created therein a sign in accordance with which they should keep Sabbath with us on the seventh day, to eat and to drink, and to bless Him who has created all things as

He has blessed and sanctified unto Himself a peculiar people above all peoples, and that they should keep Sabbath together with us. And He caused His commands to ascend as a sweet savour acceptable before Him all the days . . .

There (were) two and twenty heads of mankind from Adam to Jacob, and two and twenty kinds of work were made until the seventh day; this is blessed and holy; and the former also is blessed and holy; and this one serves with that one for sanctification and blessing.

And to this (Jacob and his seed) it was granted that they should always be the blessed and holy ones of the first testimony and law, even as He had sanctified and blessed the Sabbath day on the seventh day.

He created heaven and earth and everything that He created in six days, and God made the seventh day holy, for all His works; therefore He commanded on its behalf that, whoever does any work thereon shall die, and that he who defiles it shall surely die.

Wherefore do thou command the children of Israel to observe this day that they may keep it holy and not do thereon any work, and not to defile it, as it is holier than all other days. And whoever profanes it shall surely die, and whoever does thereon any work shall surely die eternally, that the children of Israel may observe this day throughout their generations, and not be rooted out of the land; for it is a holy day and a blessed day.

And every one who observes it and keeps Sabbath thereon from all his work, will be holy and blessed throughout all days like unto us. Declare and say to the children of Israel the law of this day both that they should keep Sabbath thereon, and that they should not forsake it in the error of their hearts; (and) that it is not lawful to do any work thereon which is unseemly, to do thereon their own pleasure, and that they should not prepare thereon anything to be eaten or drunk, and (that it is not lawful) to draw water, or bring in or take out thereon through their gates any burden, which they had not prepared for themselves on the sixth day in their dwellings.

And they shall not bring in nor take out from house to house on that day; for that day is more holy and blessed than any jubilee day of the jubilees; on this we kept Sabbath in the heavens before it was made known to any flesh to keep Sabbath thereon on the earth.

And the Creator of all things blessed it, but he did not sanctify all peoples and nations to keep Sabbath thereon, but Israel alone: them alone he permitted to eat and drink and to keep Sabbath thereon on the earth.

And the Creator of all things blessed this day which He had created for blessing and holiness and glory above all days.

This law and testimony was given to the children of Israel as a law for ever unto their generations.

Jubilees 4

The Book of Jubilees

From The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament

by R.H. Charles, Oxford: Clarendon Press,


Scanned and Edited by Joshua Williams, Northwest Nazarene College.

Chapter 4

Cain and Abel and other children of Adam, 1-12. Enos, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, 13-15. Enoch and his history, 16-25. Four sacred places, 26. Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, 27, 28. Death of Adam and Cain, 29-32. Shem, Ham, and Japhet,32. (Cf. Gen. iv-v.)

And in the third week in the second jubilee (64-70 AM) she gave birth to Cain, and in the fourth (71-77 AM) she gave birth to Abel, and in the fifth (78-84 AM) she gave birth to her daughter .

And in the first (year) of the third jubilee (99-105 AM), Cain slew Abel because (God) accepted the sacrifice of Abel, and did not accept the offering of Cain.

And he slew him in the field: and his blood cried from the ground to heaven, complaining because he had slain him.

And the Lord reproved Cain because of Abel, because he had slain him, and he made him a fugitive on the earth because of the blood of his brother, and he cursed him upon the earth.

And on this account it is written on the heavenly tables, 'Cursed is ,he who smites his neighbour treacherously, and let all who have seen and heard say, So be it; and the man who has seen and not declared (it), let him be accursed as the other.'

And for this reason we announce when we come before the Lord our God all the sin which is committed in heaven and on earth, and in light and in darkness, and everywhere.

And Adam and his wife mourned for Abel four weeks of years, (99-127 AM) and in the fourth year of the fifth week (130 AM) they became joyful, and Adam knew his wife again, and she bare him a son, and he called his name Seth; for he said 'GOD has raised up a second seed unto us on the earth instead of Abel; for Cain slew him.'

And in the sixth week (134-140 AM) he begat his daughter Az

And Cain took his sister to be his wife and she bare him Enoch at the close of the fourth jubilee. (190-196 AM) And in the first year of the first week of the fifth jubilee, (197 AM) houses were built on the earth, and Cain built a city, and called its name after the name of his son Enoch.

And Adam knew Eve his wife and she bare yet nine sons.

And in the fifth week of the fifth jubilee (225-231 AM) Seth took Az his sister to be his wife, and in the fourth (year of the sixth week) (235 AM) she bare him Enos.

He began to call on the name of the Lord on the earth.

And in the seventh jubilee in the third week (309-315 AM) Enos took Nm his sister to be his wife, and she bare him a son in the third year of the fifth week (325 AM), and he called his name Kenan.

And at the close of the eighth jubilee (386-392 AM) Kenan took Mlh his sister to be his wife, and she bare him a son in the ninth jubilee, in the first week in the third year of this week, (395 AM) and he called his name Mahalalel.

And in the second week of the tenth jubilee (449-455 AM) Mahalalel took unto him to wife Dinah, the daughter of Barakiel the daughter of his father's brother, and she bare him a son in the third week in the sixth year, (461 AM) and he called his name Jared, for in his days the angels of the Lord descended on the earth, those who are named the Watchers, that they should instruct the children of men, and that they should do judgment and uprightness on the earth.

And in the eleventh jubilee (490-539 AM) Jared took to himself a wife, and her name was Baraka, the daughter of R, a daughter of his father's brother, in the fourth week of this jubilee, (512-518 AM) and she bare him a son in the fifth week, in the fourth year of the jubilee (522 AM), and he called his name Enoch.

And he was the first among men that are born on earth who learnt writing and knowledge and wisdom and who wrote down the signs of heaven according to the order of their months in a book, that men might know the seasons of the years according to the order of their separate months.

And he was the first to write a testimony and he testified to the sons of men among the generations of the earth, and recounted the weeks of the jubilees, and made known to them the days of the years, and set in order the months and recounted the Sabbaths of the years as we made (them), known to him.

And what was and what will be he saw in a vision of his sleep, as it will happen to the children of men throughout their generations until the day of judgment; he saw and understood everything, and wrote his testimony, and placed the testimony on earth for all the children of men and for their generations.

And in the twelfth jubilee, in the seventh week thereof (575-581 AM), he took to himself a wife, and her name was Edna, the daughter of Danel, the daughter of his father's brother, and in the sixth year in this week (587 AM) she bare him a son and he called his name Methuselah.

And he was moreover with the angels of God these six jubilees of years (294 years), and they showed him everything which is on earth and in the heavens, the rule of the sun, and he wrote down everything.

And he testified to the Watchers, who had sinned with the daughters of men; for these had begun to unite themselves, so as to be defiled, with the daughters of men, and Enoch testified against (them) all.

And he was taken from amongst the children of men, and we conducted him into the Garden of Eden in majesty and honour, and behold there he writes down the condemnation and judgment of the world, and all the wickedness of the children of men.

And on account of it (God) brought the waters of the flood upon all the land of Eden; for there he was set as a sign and that he should testify against all the children of men, that he should recount all the deeds of the generations until the day of condemnation.

And he burnt the incense of the sanctuary, (even) sweet spices acceptable before the Lord on the Mount.

For the Lord has four places on the earth, the Garden of Eden, and the Mount of the East, and this mountain on which thou art this day, Mount Sinai, and Mount Zion (which) will be sanctified in the new creation for a sanctification of the earth; through it will the earth be sanctified from all (its) guilt and its uncleanness through- out the generations of the world.

And in the fourteenth jubilee (638-697 AM) Methuselah took unto himself a wife, Edna the daughter of Azrial, the daughter of his father's brother, in the third week, in the first year of this week, (657 AM) and he begat a son and called his name Lamech.

And in the fifteenth jubilee in the third week (701-707 AM) Lamech took to himself a wife, and her name was Betenos the daughter of Baraki'il, the daughter of his father's brother, and in this week (701-707 AM) she bare him a son and he called his name Noah, saying, 'This one will comfort me for my trouble and all my work, and for the ground which the Lord hath cursed.'

And at the close of the nineteenth jubilee, in the seventh week in the sixth year thereof (930 AM), Adam died, and all his sons buried him in the land of his creation, and he was the first to be buried in the earth.

And he lacked seventy years of one thousand years; for one thousand years are as one day in the testimony of the heavens and therefore was it written concerning the tree of knowledge: 'On the day that ye eat thereof ye shall die.' For this reason he did not complete the years of this day; for he died during it.

At the close of this jubilee (930 AM) Cain was killed after him in the same year; for his house fell upon him and he died in the midst of his house, and he was killed by its stones; for with a stone he had killed Abel, and by a stone was he killed in righteous judgment.

For this reason it was ordained on the heavenly tablets: With the instrument with which a man kills his neighbour with the same shall he be killed; after the manner that he wounded him, in like manner shall they deal with him.'

And in the twenty-fifth (1177-1225 AM) jubilee Noah took to himself a wife, and her name was `Emz the daughter of R#39;, the daughter of his father's brother, in the first year in the fifth week (1204 AM): and in the third year thereof (1206 AM) she bare him Shem, in the fifth year thereof (1208 AM) she bare him Ham, and in the first year in the sixth week (1211 AM) she bare him Japheth.


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