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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

Chapter XXXIV

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Text Commentary

1And in the sixth year of this week of this fourty-fourth jubilee Jacob sent his sons to pasture their sheep in the pastures of Shechem, and his servants with them. 2And the seven kings of the Amorites banded together against them and took up their positions in a wood, 1 So Lat.: Eth. ‘hiding themselves under the trees’. with the intention of killing them and taking their cattle as spoil. 3And Jacob and Levi and Judah and Joseph were at home with their father Isaac (for he was in a sorry state and they could not leave him); and Benjamin was the youngest, and for this reason remained with his father. 4And the king of Tappuah came, and the king of Aresa, and the king of Seragan, and the king of Selo, and the king of Gaash, and the king of Beth-horon, and the king of Maanisakir, and all who live in these mountains and in the woods in the land of Canaan. 5And Jacob was told, Behold, the kings of the Amorites have surrounded your sons and plundered their herds. 6And he left his house, he and his three sons and all his father's servants and his own servants, and he went against them with six thousand men armed with swords. 7And he cut them down in the pastures of Shechem, and he pursued the fugitives and put them to the sword; and he killed the kings of Aresa and Tappuah and Saregan and Selo and Amanisakir and Gaash and recovered his herds. 8And he gained the mastery over them and imposed tribute on them, and he made them pay him as tribute five fruit products of their land; and he built 2 Or ‘restored’. Robel and Timnath-heres. 9And he returned in peace; and he made peace with them, and they became his servants till the day that he and his sons went down to Egypt.

10And in the seventh year of this week he sent Joseph from home to the land of Shechem to see how his brothers were faring; and he found them in the land of Dothan. 11And they conspired against him 3 Lit. ‘behaved treacherously towards him’. and hatched a plot to kill him, but they changed their minds and sold him to Ishmaelite merchants; and they took him down to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, a eunuch of Pharaoh's and his chief cook, priest of the city of Elew. 4 i.e. Heliopolis. 12And Jacob's sons slaughtered a kid and dipped Joseph's coat in the blood and sent it to their father Jacob on the tenth of the seventh month. 13And he mourned all that night (for they had brought it to him in the evening), and he was beside himself with grief 5 Lit. ‘he became feverish with mourning for his death’. and said, An evil beast has devoured Joseph; and all his household mourned with him that day, and they mourned and lamented with him the whole day. 14And his sons and his daughter tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted for his son.

15And on that day Bilhah heard that Joseph was dead, and she died while mourning for him, and she was living in Qafratef; and Dinah, Jacob's 6 Lit. ‘his’. daughter, also died when she heard that Joseph was dead. 16And so Israel suffered three losses 7 Lit. ‘And there came these three mournings on Israel’. in a single month. And they buried Bilhah opposite Rachel's tomb; and they buried Jacob's 6 Lit. ‘his’. daughter Dinah there too. 17And Jacob 8 Lit. ‘he’. mourned for Joseph for a whole year and would not desist, for he said, Let me go down to the grave mourning for my son. 18This is why it is decreed that the sons of Israel should mortify themselves on the tenth of the seventh month (on the day that the news which made him weep for Joseph came to his father Jacob), and that on it they should make expiation for themselves with a young goat – on the tenth of the seventh month, once a year, for their sin (for they had resented their father's affection for his son Joseph 9 Lit. ‘for they had grieved the affection of their father regarding his son Joseph’. ). 19And this day has been set apart so that on it they should grieve for their sins and for all their transgressions and for all their misdeeds, and so cleanse themselves, once a year, on that day.

20And after Joseph was taken away, Jacob's sons married wives. The name of Reuben's wife was Ada; and the name of Simeon's wife Adibaa, a Canaanite; and the name of Levi's wife Melka, an Aramaean, 10 Lit. ‘of the daughters of Aram’. a descendant of the sons of Terah; and the name of Judah's wife Betasuel, a Canaanite; and the name of Issachar's wife Hezaqa; and the name of Zebulon's wife Niiman; and the name of Dan's wife Egla; and the name of Naphtali's wife Rasuu, from Mesopotamia; and the name of Gad's wife Maka; and the name of Asher's wife Ijona; and the name of Joseph's wife Asenath, the Egyptian; and the name of Benjamin's wife Ijasaka. 21And Simeon repented and took a second wife from Mesopotamia, like his brothers.

Notes:

1 So Lat.: Eth. ‘hiding themselves under the trees’.

2 Or ‘restored’.

3 Lit. ‘behaved treacherously towards him’.

4 i.e. Heliopolis.

5 Lit. ‘he became feverish with mourning for his death’.

6 Lit. ‘his’.

7 Lit. ‘And there came these three mournings on Israel’.

8 Lit. ‘he’.

9 Lit. ‘for they had grieved the affection of their father regarding his son Joseph’.

10 Lit. ‘of the daughters of Aram’.

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