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

Chapter XXIII

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Text Commentary

1And as Joseph and Aseneth were passing by, Pharaoh's eldest son saw them 1 D ‘her’. from the wall. 2 from the wall = BEA: DFG Slav. om. 2And when he saw Aseneth 1 D ‘her’. he was driven to distraction by her because she was so beautiful; and Pharaoh's son sent messengers 3 So BFA Slav.: DG om. and summoned Simeon and Levi to him, and they came to him and stood before him. 4 and stood before him = BFG: D Slav. om. 3And Pharaoh's son said to them, I have heard 5 Lit. ‘I know’. that you are better soldiers than any others there are on earth, and that with your own right hands you destroyed the city of Shechem and with your own two swords you cut to pieces thirty thousand fighting men. 6 Lit. ‘thirty thousand men of war’ (D om. ‘of war’). 4I need your help: let us get together without delay; 7 So Slav. (lit. ‘I call you to my aid: make haste. Lo, I will take you as companions’): D ‘I call you to my aid: make haste’; B ‘And lo, I will take you to my aid this day’; A ‘And I this day will take you to myself as companions’. and I will give you gold and silver in abundance, and menservants and maidservants, and houses and great estates. 8 Lit. ‘inheritance’. Make a compact with me, 9 So G: B ‘swear to me’; D ‘listen to me’; A ‘strive together with me’. and shew kindness to me; for I was greatly wronged by your brother Joseph, because he married Aseneth although 10 Lit. ‘and’. she was originally pledged to me. 5And now come with me, and I will take up arms against Joseph and kill him with my sword, and I will marry Aseneth; and 6you shall be my brothers and 11 my brothers and: D om. my friends for ever, But if you will not listen to me, I will kill you with my sword (and as he said this he bared his sword and showed it them). 7Now Simeon was a brave but impetuous man, and he drew his sword from its scabbard and made a rush at Pharaoh's son, as if to strike him. 8And Levi was aware of what Simeon was about to do, for Levi was a prophet and foresaw everything that was to happen; and Levi trod hard on Simon's right foot as a sign to him to curb his wrath. 9And Levi said to him, Why so angry with him? For we are the children of a man who worships God, and it is not right for a man who worships God to repay his neighbour evil for evil. 10And Levi said to his neighbour, 12 his neighbour: D om. Pharaoh's son, respectfully and in good humour, My lord, why do you speak to us like this? For 13 Lit. ‘And’. we are men who worship God, and our father is the servant of God Most High, and our brother Joseph is loved by God: how could we do 14 Lit. ‘and how (D om.) shall we do’. anything so wicked in God's eyes? 11And now, listen to us, and be careful you never repeat what you have just said about our brother Joseph. 12If, however, you persist in this wicked plan, see, our swords are drawn against you. 13And they 15 D ‘Simeon and Levi’. drew their swords from their scabbards and said, Do you see these swords? It was with them that the Lord 16 the Lord: D om. God avenged the outrage on the sons of Israel, which the men of Shechem committed in the affair of our sister Dinah, whom 17 BD Slav. add ‘in’. Shechem, Hamor's son, defiled. 14And Pharaoh's son saw their drawn swords, and he was afraid and trembled and fell on his face to the ground at their feet. 15And Levi stretched his hand out and lifted him up, saying, Do not be afraid: only be careful you say nothing against our brother. 16And they went out from him, leaving him trembling and afraid.

Notes:

1 D ‘her’.

2 from the wall = BEA: DFG Slav. om.

3 So BFA Slav.: DG om.

4 and stood before him = BFG: D Slav. om.

5 Lit. ‘I know’.

6 Lit. ‘thirty thousand men of war’ (D om. ‘of war’).

7 So Slav. (lit. ‘I call you to my aid: make haste. Lo, I will take you as companions’): D ‘I call you to my aid: make haste’; B ‘And lo, I will take you to my aid this day’; A ‘And I this day will take you to myself as companions’.

8 Lit. ‘inheritance’.

9 So G: B ‘swear to me’; D ‘listen to me’; A ‘strive together with me’.

10 Lit. ‘and’.

11 my brothers and: D om.

12 his neighbour: D om.

13 Lit. ‘And’.

14 Lit. ‘and how (D om.) shall we do’.

15 D ‘Simeon and Levi’.

16 the Lord: D om.

17 BD Slav. add ‘in’.

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