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

The Testament of Judah, About Courage, and Love of Money, and Fornication

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Text Commentary

I.

1A copy of the words of Judah that he spoke to his sons before he died. 2,3They met together and came to him; and he said to them, I was my father's fourth son, and my mother 1 So b: II ‘my mother Leah’. called me Judah, saying, I give thanks to the Lord because he has given me a fourth son as well. 4I was agile and active in my youth; and I was obedient to my father in everything. 5And I blessed 2 So b: II ‘honoured’. my mother and my mother's sister. 6And when I grew up, my father Jacob promised me, 3 So b chi: gldm eaf ‘prayed for God's blessing on me’. saying, You will be a king and prosper in all things.

II.

1And the Lord showed me favour in everything I did, both out 2in the country and at home – as I saw when 1 So the probable text behind b: II ‘I know that’. I raced a hind and caught it and made it into a meal for my father. 3The gazelles I would catch as they ran, and I could overtake anything on the plains. A wild mare I overtook and caught it and tamed it; and I killed a lion and rescued a kid from its mouth. 4I took a bear by its paw and dashed it against a crag; 2 Lit. ‘rolled it away into a crag’. and any beast, if it turned on me, I tore it apart like a dog. 5I raced the wild boar and grasped it as I ran, and I tore it in pieces. 6A leopard in Hebron jumped out on my dog, and I caught it by the tail and sent it flying and destroyed it. 3 Lit. ‘and it was broken’. 7A wild ox, which was feeding in the fields near Gaza, I took by the horns, and whirled it round and stunned it and threw it on the ground and killed it.

III.

1And when the two kings of the Canaanites, armed with their coats of mail, came against the flocks with all their forces, on my own I fell upon the king of Hazor, seized him and struck him on the greaves, and I dragged him down and so killed him. 2And the other, the king of Tappuah, I killed as he was sitting on his horse; and so I scattered all his people. 1 So b: l e hi explicitly ‘his people’; gd af c ‘their people’. 3And when I killed king Achor 2 There is obviously some confusion here since only two kings are mentioned in verse 1, but verse 3 introduces a third with a proper name. Charles argued, on the basis of Rabbinic sources, that verses 3–5 originally described Judah's encounter with the king of Tappuah and that the otherwise unknown name Achor arose as a corrupt dittography of ‘the other’ (Heb.’ aḥer) at the beginning of verse 2. He accordingly bracketed the end of verse 2 and the beginning of verse 3 as an interpolation. (one of the giants who was shooting arrows in front of him and behind him as he sat on his horse), I took aim with a stone weighing sixty pounds and flung it at his horse and killed it. 4And I fought Achor for two hours, and I killed him; and I cut his shield in two and cut off his feet. 5And as I was stripping off his breastplate, eight comrades of his began to fight with me. 6So I wound my garment round my hand and threw stones at them; and I killed four of them, but the others fled. 7And our father Jacob killed Beelisas, the leader of the kings, 3 Lit. ‘king of all the kings’. a giant in strength and over eighteen feet in height! 8And terror 4 Lit. ‘trembling’. seized them, and they brought their war against us to an end. 9My father had no anxiety, if there was a war, and I was with my brothers. 10For he had seen in a vision about me that an angel of might always followed me everywhere, so that I should not be overcome.

IV.

1And in the south we became involved in a more serious war than the one in Shechem. And I took the field with my brothers; and I went in pursuit of a thousand men, and I killed two hundred men of them and four kings. 2And I went up against them on the wall, and I killed two more kings. 3Also we set Hebron free and liberated all the prisoners that had been taken by the kings. 1 Lit. ‘and we took all the captivity of the kings’.

V.

1On the next day we set off for Aretan, a city strongly fortified, inaccessible and menacing. 1 Lit. ‘promising death to us’. 2Gad and I approached from the east of the city, and Reuben and Levi from the west. 2 So II-l: b l add ‘and on the south’. 3And the men that were on the wall, thinking we were alone, were drawn away after us. 4And so the rest of our brothers, without being seen, climbed up the wall on the other two sides on ladders 3 Lit. ‘by stakes’. and entered the city while the defenders were unaware of it. 5And we took it and put it to the sword; and as for those who had taken refuge in the tower, we set fire to the tower and took both it and them. 6And as we were going away the men of Tappuah set upon our prisoners; and we put these in charge of our sons, 4 So gdl eaf (m is lacking): b ‘and having taken these with us together with our sons’. and we fought with them as far as Tappuah. 7And we killed them too and burned their city, and everything in it we carried off as spoil.

VI.

1And when I was at the waters of Cozeba, the men of Jobel took the field against us. 2And we fought with them; 1 So b: gdl eaf add ‘and defeated them’. and we killed their allies from Shiloh and gave them no opportunity to attack us. 2 Lit. ‘no passage to come in against us’. 3And the men of Machir 3 Or ‘And from Machir they’. came upon us on the fifth day to take our prisoners, and we advanced against them and got the better of them in a fiercely contested battle (for there were many seasoned warriors among them); and we killed them before they had gone up the slope. 4But when we came to their city, their women rolled down stones on us from the brow of the hill on which the city stood. 5And Simeon and I hid ourselves at the back; and we seized the heights and destroyed the whole city.

VII.

1And the next day we were told that the men of Gaash, the city of the kings, 1 So (e) af: there is a bewildering variety of readings at this point. were coming against us with a massive force. 2So Dan and I pretended to be Amorites and gained entrance into their city as allies. 3And at dead of night our brothers came, and we opened the gates for them; and we destroyed all the inhabitants 2 Lit. ‘all of them’. and their possessions, and we took as booty everything they had, and razed their three walls to the ground. 4And we approached Timnah, where all those were who had taken refuge from 3 Lit. ‘where was all the refuge of’. the warring kings. 5Here 4 Lit. ‘Then’. they were abusive, and in my fury I rushed against them to the brow of the hill on which the city stood. 5 Cp. vi. 4. And they kept slinging stones and throwing darts at me. 6And had not my brother Dan fought with me, they would have killed me. 7But so furious was our assault on them that they all fled; and they found their way to my father by a different route, and they pleaded with him, and he made peace with them. 8And we did them no harm, but made a truce with them and restored all our prisoners to them. 9And I rebuilt 6 Lit. ‘built’. Timnah, and my father rebuilt 6 Lit. ‘built’. Rabael. 10I was twenty years old when this war happened. 11And the Canaanites were afraid of my brothers and of me.

VIII.

1And I had a number of flocks and herds, and my chief herdsman was Iran the Adullamite. 2When I went to see him I met 1 Lit. ‘saw’. Barsam, king of Adullam. And he gave us a feast; and he invited me and gave me his daughter Bathshua in marriage. 3She bore me Er and Onan and Shelah: two of them the Lord struck down childless; but Shelah was spared, 2 Lit. ‘lived’. and you are his children.

IX.

1After we came out of Mesopotamia, from Laban, into Canaan our father 1 So II-d: b d ‘our father and ourselves’. lived in peace with his brother Esau for eighteen years, and his sons with us. 2And when eighteen years had gone by, in my own fortieth year, Esau, my father's brother, attacked us with a large and powerful company. 3And he fell by the bow of Jacob and was taken up wounded 2 Lit. ‘dead’. in the hill-country of Seir; and he died on the road above Anoniram. 4And we went in pursuit of Esau's sons. Now they had a city with a wall of iron and gates of brass, and we could not get into it; and we encamped round about it and beseiged them. 5And when after twenty days they had not opened the gates and were looking at us, I got a ladder, and, with my shield over my head, climbed up it, and was met with a shower of stones 3 Lit. ‘and I went up accepting stones’. weighing nearly three talents; and when I got to the top I killed four of their warriors. 6And on the day following Reuben and Gad went in and killed six 4 So II-l:b l ‘sixty’. more. 7Then they asked us for terms of peace, and, after consulting our father, we put them to forced labour. 8And they used to give us each year two hundred cors of wheat, five hundred baths of oil, and fifteen hundred measures of wine, until we went down into Egypt.

X.

1After this my son Er married Tamar, 1 According to Gen. xxxviii. 6 Judah himself was responsible for marrying Er to Tamar. a girl from Mesopotamia, an Aramaean. 2And Er was wicked and had doubts about Tamar because she was not from Canaan; and an angel of the Lord struck him on the third day in the night. 2 So b: gdl eaf ‘on the third night’; m ‘on the third day’; chi om. 3And he had not had intercourse with her as a result of his mother's crafty scheming; for he did not want to have children by her. 3 Or ‘she did not want him to have children by her’. 4While the wedding was still being celebrated, 4 Lit. ‘In the days of the bride-chamber’. I gave her Onan in marriage as a husband's brother; and he too was wicked and would not have intercourse with her, though he lived with her for a whole year. 5And when I threatened him, he lay with her but spilled his seed on the ground, just as his mother had told him to; and he also died through his wickedness. 6And I wanted to give Shelah to her as well, but my wife Bathshua would not agree to it; for she had set her face against Tamar, because she was not a Canaanite as she was herself.

XI.

1And I was well aware that the Canaanite stock was wicked, but youthful passion blinded my mind. 2And when I saw her pouring out the wine at dinner, 1 Cp. xiii. 5–7. I was led astray under the influence of the wine and spent the night with her. 3And she, while I was away, went and found a wife for Shelah from Canaan. 4And when I discovered what she had done, I cursed her in my distress. 5And she died too through her sons' wickedness.

XII.

1And after this, while Tamar was a widow, she heard, two years later, that I was on my way to shear my sheep; and she adorned herself in bridal array and sat in the city of Enaim, 1 There are a number of variants here: e seems to give the original text. at the gate. 2For it was a custom of the Amorites that a girl who was about to marry should sit by the gate for seven days as a prostitute. 3I had myself been drinking at the waters of Cozeba, and, fuddled as I was with wine, I did not recognize her: moreover, the way she had adorned herself made her seem the more desirable; and so I was deceived. 4And I turned to her and said, Let me lie with you. And she said, What will you give me? And I gave her my staff and my belt and the diadem of the kingdom, and I lay with her; and she conceived. 5And not knowing what she had done, it was my intention to kill her; 2 Cp. Gen. xxxviii. 24 . but she secretly sent me the pledges, and humiliated me. 6And when I asked her to come and see me, she told me 3 Lit. ‘I heard’. also what I had said to her privately while I was lying with her in my drunken stupor; and so I could not kill her, for it was the Lord's doing. 7And I thought 4 Lit. ‘I said’. perhaps it was a trick and she had got the pledges from someone else. 8But I never approached her again, 5 Lit. ‘But I did not approach her any more until my death’. because I had done something that all Israelites regard as an abomination. 9And the people in the city said there had been no prostitute 6 Lit. ‘temple-prostitute’. in the gate 7 So II-l (d is lacking and chi have a different text): b l ‘in the city’. (because she came from somewhere else and sat in the gate for only a little while). 10And I thought that no one knew that I had had intercourse with her. 11And after this we went into Egypt, to Joseph, because of the famine. 12And I was forty-six; and I lived there for seventy three years.

XIII.

1And now, my instructions to you. 1 Lit. ‘whatsoever things I command you’. Pay attention, my children, to your father, 2 So b: II ‘to Judah your father’. and keep all my sayings, and conform to the ordinances 3 So b: II ‘all the ordinances’. of the Lord, and obey the commandments of the Lord God. 4 So bm: II-m ‘of God’. 2And do not follow after your natural desires, nor yield to the promptings of your own inclinations: do not be proud and overbearing; 5 do not … overbearing: lit. ‘in the haughtiness of your heart’. and do not boast of your feats in youth, for this too is evil in the Lord's eyes. 3I myself boasted that when at war no beautiful woman's face ever beguiled me, and I censured my brother Reuben because of what he had done to Bilhah, my father's wife; yet the spirit of pride 6 Or ‘jealousy’ (lit. ‘zeal’). and fornication ranged itself against me until I had spent the night with Bathshua, the Canaanite, and with Tamar, who had been married to my sons. 4And I said to my father-in-law, I will talk to my father about it, and only so will I take your daughter. And he showed me an immense hoard of gold that was ear-marked for his daughter 7 that…daughter: lit. ‘in his daughter's name’. (for he was a king). 5And he adorned her with gold and pearls and got her to pour out the wine for us at dinner and display her beauty. 8 Lit. ‘…at dinner in the beauty of women’. 6And the wine turned away my eyes, and pleasure dulled my wits. 7And I became enamoured of her, and I spent the night with her and transgressed the Lord's command and my father's also; and I married her. 8And the Lord rewarded me as I deserved, inasmuch as I had no joy of her children.

XIV.

1And now, my children, do not give way to drunkenness, for wine turns the mind away from truth, inflames our lustful inclinations, and leads the eyes into error. 2For the spirit of fornication uses 1 Lit. ‘has’. wine as an instrument to give pleasure to the mind; and both of these destroy a man's powers. 3For if a man drinks wine and makes himself drunk, it disturbs his mind with filthy thoughts which lead him on to fornication, and it heats his body to hanker after sexual intercourse; and if there is opportunity to gratify his lust, he commits the sin and is not ashamed. 4Such is the effect of wine, my children; for a man that is drunk has no respect for anyone. 5For look how it made me go astray, so that although there were many people in the city I was not ashamed to turn aside to Tamar before them all; and I committed a great sin and brought shame on my sons. 2 Lit. ‘and uncovered the covering of my sons' uncleanness’. 6 Similarly, after I had been drinking wine, I was not ashamed to transgress the command of God, and I took a Canaanite woman as my wife. 7So the man who drinks wine needs to exercise discretion, my children; and discretion means drinking for only as long as one can preserve one's self-respect. 3 Or ‘respect for others’. 8Otherwise, if one goes beyond this limit, the spirit of error gets into the mind and makes the drunkard indulge in filthy talk and transgress and feel no shame, but rather take pride in what is dishonourable and think it something good.

XV.

1The man who commits fornication has no inkling that he is being damaged and no shame at being frowned upon. 2For even if he is a king, if he commits fornication, he is stripped of his kingship and goes away naked: 1 In verses 1 and 2 b om. ‘has no inkling … if he commits fornication’ through homioteleuton, and then adds a negative before ‘goes away’ to help the sense. he has become the slave of fornication and has been stripped, just as I was myself. 3For I gave away my staff (that is the prop of my tribe) and my belt (that is my power) and my diadem (that is the glory of my kingdom). 4And after I had repented of it, I drank no wine nor did I eat any meat 2 Lit. ‘wine and flesh I did not take’. until I was an old man; and I took no part in any festivities. 5And God's angel showed me that women hold sway over king and beggar alike, and that they always will. 3 Lit. ‘for ever’. 6From the king they take away his glory, and from the warrior his strength, and from the beggar even the little that keeps him from utter destitution. 4 Lit. ‘the smallest prop of his poverty’.

XVI.

1So when you drink wine, my children, observe the limit; for there are four evil spirits in it – lust, consuming passion, profligacy, and money-grubbing. 2If you drink wine at a celebration, 1 Or ‘with a merry heart’: lit. ‘in gladness’. do it with moderation 2 Lit. ‘being respectful…not being respectful’. and in the fear of God; 3 b adds ‘you will live’ and so understands the sentence differently (‘If you drink … with moderation … you will live’). for if you drink immoderately, 2 Lit. ‘being respectful…not being respectful’. and the fear of God is lacking, drunkenness ensues and shamelessness creeps in. 3But better still, do not drink at all, 4 b seems to be defective here: the other MSS differ widely, though they agree on the general sense. so that you do not sin through violent talk and quarrelling and slander and transgression of the commands of God, and you perish before your time. 4Moreover, wine reveals the secrets of God and men to foreigners (just as I revealed the commands of God and the secrets of my father Jacob to the Canaanite woman, Bathshua); and God has told us not to reveal them to them. 5And wine, too, is a cause of strife 5 Lit. ‘war’. and confusion.

XVII.

1I warn you, my children, not to be lovers of money nor to focus your attention on women's beauty, because it was her money and her beauty 1 Lit. ‘shapeliness’. that led me astray to Bathshua the Canaanite. 2For I well know that it is these two things that will lead my family into 3wickedness: they will corrupt even the wise men among my sons; and they will be responsible for the decline of the kingdom of Judah, which the Lord gave me because of my obedience to my father. 4For I never disobeyed 2 Lit. ‘caused grief with regard to the word of’. my father Jacob: whatever he told me, I did. 5And Abraham, my father's father, gave me his blessing and said that I should be king in Israel; and Isaac again gave me a similar blessing. 6And so I know that it is from me that the royal line will stem. 3 Lit. ‘the royal thing will stand’.

XVIII.

1And I have also read in the books of the righteous Enoch about the evils you will do in the last days. 2So be on your guard, my children, against fornication and the love of money: pay attention to your father Judah. 3For these things separate us from the law of God, and distract our thoughts, 1 Lit. ‘blind the inclination of the soul’. and encourage arrogance, and prevent us from showing mercy to one another. 4They rob a man's soul of all goodness, and oppress him with toils and troubles, and deprive him of his sleep, and devour his flesh. 5And he holds back the sacrifices due to God, 2 Lit. ‘And he hinders the sacrifices of God’. and ignores his blessing, and pays no heed to a prophet when he speaks, and is offended by even so much as a mention of religion. 3 Lit. ‘by a word of godliness’. 6For the man who is a slave to two passions that are contrary to God's commands cannot obey God, because they have blinded him; and he walks about in broad daylight as if it were night.

XIX.

1My children, the love of money is a sure path to idolatry, because, when led astray by money, men call gods those that are no gods, 1 Or ‘those that do not exist’. and it drives to distraction whoever is in its grip. 2For the sake of money I lost my children; and had I not repented and humbled myself, and had not my father Jacob prayed for me, I should have died childless. 3But the God of my fathers, the compassionate and gracious one, pardoned me, because I did it in ignorance. 4For the prince of error blinded me, and I was ignorant, being but a man and a creature made of flesh, corrupted by his sins; and I came to understand my own weakness when I had been thinking myself invincible.

XX.

1Understand then, my children, that two spirits attend on man, the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 2And in between is the spirit of rational understanding, 1 Lit. ‘the spirit of the understanding of the mind’. to incline us whichever way it wills. 3And men's deeds of truth and deeds of error are written on their hearts; 2 Lit. ‘And the things of truth and the things of error are written on the breast of man’. and the Lord knows each one of them. 4And there is no time when men's deeds can be hidden, because they have been written in his innermost heart 3 Lit. ‘in the breast of his bones’. before the Lord. 5And the spirit of truth testifies to everything and accuses everyone; and the sinner is destroyed by fire on the evidence of 4 Lit. ‘is burned up out of’. his own heart and cannot even raise his face to the judge.

XXI.

1And now, children, show Levi the respect due to him, 1 Lit. ‘love Levi’. so that you may endure, and do not set yourselves up against him, or you will be swept away completely. 2For the Lord gave me the kingdom and him the priesthood; and he made the kingdom inferior to the priesthood. 3He gave me the things on earth, him the things in heaven. 4As the heaven is higher than the earth, so is God's priesthood higher than the kingdom on earth, unless it falls away from the Lord through sin and becomes subservient to the earthly kingdom. 2 bd om. ‘unless … kingdom’. 5For the Lord chose him rather than you, 3 Lit. ‘thee’. Note the abrupt change to second person singular (cp. T. Iss. v. 4–5): chi accordingly add ‘the angel of the Lord said to me’ before ‘the Lord chose him’. to approach him, and to eat at his table, and to offer the first-fruits, the choice offerings, 4 So b (l): II-l ‘the first-fruits of the choice offerings’. of the sons of Israel. 6But you will be king in Jacob; 5 b om. ‘But … Jacob’. and you will be like a sea for them. 6 So ba: II-a ‘among them’. For just as on the sea both upright and wicked are tossed about, and some are taken prisoner while others make their fortunes, so also shall every race of men be in you: some will be in danger and taken prisoner while others will grow rich through plunder. 7For those who reign as kings will behave 7 Lit. ‘be’. like sea-monsters and gulp down men like fish: they will enslave sons and daughters that are free and plunder houses, lands, flocks, and money. 8And in their wickedness they will feed the flesh of many to the ravens and the cranes; 8 Gr. ‘ibises’. and they will excel in every kind of evil, spurred on by greed. 9And false prophets will appear like hurricanes and persecute all upright men.

XXII.

1But the Lord will divide them into opposing groups, and there will be continual wars in Israel. 2And my kingdom will be brought to an end by men of another race before the salvation of Israel comes and the God of righteousness appears, 1 Lit. ‘until the salvation of Israel comes, until the appearing (Gk. παϱουσία) of the God of righteousness’. so that Jacob and all the Gentiles may rest in peace. 3And he will preserve my sovereign rights 2 Lit. ‘the power of my kingdom’. for ever; for the Lord swore to me on oath that my kingdom and my descendants' kingdom shall never fail to the end of time. 3 So b g: the other MSS vary, but give much the same sense.

XXIII.

1Now I am much grieved, my children, because of the licentious acts and meddlings in witchcraft and idolatries of which you will be guilty, contrary to the royal law, in running after ventriloquists, omens, and the demons of error. 2You will turn your daughters into singing-girls and prostitutes and take part in the abominable things the Gentiles do. 3Because of this the Lord will bring on you famine and pestilence, death and sword, unrelenting siege and vicious dogs 1 Lit. ‘and dogs for tearing enemies in pieces’. and taunts from friends, destruction and failure of eyesight, slaughter of children and abduction of wives, seizure of your possessions, the burning of the temple of God, the desolation of your land, and your own enslavement by the Gentiles. 4,5And they will make some of you eunuchs for their wives. And when 2 So b g: II-g ‘until’. you return to the Lord in purity of heart and repent and order your lives in accordance with God's commands, then the Lord will show you mercy and restore you from your captivity among your enemies.

XXIV.

1And after this a star will come forth for you out of Jacob in peace, and a man will arise from among my descendants like the sun of righteousness, living with men in meekness and righteousness, and no sin will be found in him.2

And the heavens will be opened over him, To pour out the blessing of the spirit of the Holy Father; And he will pour out the spirit of grace upon you. 3 And you will be his sons in truth, And live in accordance with his commands from first to last. 4 This is the shoot of God Most High, And this the fountain that gives life to 1 Lit. ‘the fountain to the life of’. all mankind. 5 Then will the sceptre of my kingdom shine forth, And from your root will come a stem. 6 And from 2 Or ‘through’ (lit. ‘in’). it will spring a staff of righteousness for the Gentiles, To judge and to save all that invoke the Lord.

XXV.

1And after this Abraham and Isaac and Jacob will rise to life again, and my brethren and I will be chiefs of our tribes in Israel: Levi will be first, I second, Joseph third, Benjamin fourth, Simeon fifth, Issachar sixth, and so all in order. 2And the Lord will bless 1 So gdm ef: bl chi ‘the Lord blessed’; kn lacking. Levi, the angels of the presence me, the powers of the glory Simeon, the heaven Reuben, the earth Issachar, the sea Zebulon, the mountains Joseph, the tabernacle Benjamin, the lights of heaven Dan, Eden 2 Lit. ‘the delicacy’ (= ἡ τϱυφή, used a number of times in the Greek Old Testament to render the Hebrew ‘Eden’). Naphtali, the sun Gad, the olive 3 So b Arm. (cp. Deut. xxxiii. 24 ): others ‘the moon’. Asher.3

And there will be one people of the Lord and one language; And there will be no spirit of error of Beliar any more, For he will be thrown into the fire for ever. 4 And those who have died in grief will rise again in joy, And those who are in penury for the Lord's sake will be made rich, And those who are in want 4 So b: dm ef ‘in hunger’; l g a chi lacking. will eat their fill, And those who are weak will receive strength, And those who have been put to death for the Lord's sake will awake to life. 5 Lit. ‘in life’. 5 And the harts of Jacob will run with gladness, And the eagles of Israel will fly with joy (But the ungodly will mourn and sinners weep), And all the peoples will glorify the Lord for ever.

XXVI.

1And so, my children, observe the whole of the law of the Lord, for there is hope for all who make straight their way. 1 All the MSS read either ‘his way’ (bl) or ‘his ways’ (II-l): chi, in addition, have ‘hold fast to’ instead of ‘make straight’. 2And he said to them, I am a hundred and nineteen years old, and I am to die in the sight of you all this day. 3Do not bury me in expensive clothes, nor tear my belly open (for this is what those who are kings would do); and take me up to Hebron with you. 4And as he finished speaking Judah fell asleep; and his sons did everything he had commanded them, and they buried him in Hebron with his fathers.

Notes:

1 So b: II ‘my mother Leah’.

2 So b: II ‘honoured’.

3 So b chi: gldm eaf ‘prayed for God's blessing on me’.

1 So the probable text behind b: II ‘I know that’.

2 Lit. ‘rolled it away into a crag’.

3 Lit. ‘and it was broken’.

1 So b: l e hi explicitly ‘his people’; gd af c ‘their people’.

2 There is obviously some confusion here since only two kings are mentioned in verse 1, but verse 3 introduces a third with a proper name. Charles argued, on the basis of Rabbinic sources, that verses 3–5 originally described Judah's encounter with the king of Tappuah and that the otherwise unknown name Achor arose as a corrupt dittography of ‘the other’ (Heb.’ aḥer) at the beginning of verse 2. He accordingly bracketed the end of verse 2 and the beginning of verse 3 as an interpolation.

3 Lit. ‘king of all the kings’.

4 Lit. ‘trembling’.

1 Lit. ‘and we took all the captivity of the kings’.

1 Lit. ‘promising death to us’.

2 So II-l: b l add ‘and on the south’.

3 Lit. ‘by stakes’.

4 So gdl eaf (m is lacking): b ‘and having taken these with us together with our sons’.

1 So b: gdl eaf add ‘and defeated them’.

2 Lit. ‘no passage to come in against us’.

3 Or ‘And from Machir they’.

1 So (e) af: there is a bewildering variety of readings at this point.

2 Lit. ‘all of them’.

3 Lit. ‘where was all the refuge of’.

4 Lit. ‘Then’.

5 Cp. vi. 4.

6 Lit. ‘built’.

1 Lit. ‘saw’.

2 Lit. ‘lived’.

1 So II-d: b d ‘our father and ourselves’.

2 Lit. ‘dead’.

3 Lit. ‘and I went up accepting stones’.

4 So II-l:b l ‘sixty’.

1 According to Gen. xxxviii. 6 Judah himself was responsible for marrying Er to Tamar.

2 So b: gdl eaf ‘on the third night’; m ‘on the third day’; chi om.

3 Or ‘she did not want him to have children by her’.

4 Lit. ‘In the days of the bride-chamber’.

1 Cp. xiii. 5–7.

1 There are a number of variants here: e seems to give the original text.

2 Cp. Gen. xxxviii. 24 .

3 Lit. ‘I heard’.

4 Lit. ‘I said’.

5 Lit. ‘But I did not approach her any more until my death’.

6 Lit. ‘temple-prostitute’.

7 So II-l (d is lacking and chi have a different text): b l ‘in the city’.

1 Lit. ‘whatsoever things I command you’.

2 So b: II ‘to Judah your father’.

3 So b: II ‘all the ordinances’.

4 So bm: II-m ‘of God’.

5 do not … overbearing: lit. ‘in the haughtiness of your heart’.

6 Or ‘jealousy’ (lit. ‘zeal’).

7 that…daughter: lit. ‘in his daughter's name’.

8 Lit. ‘…at dinner in the beauty of women’.

1 Lit. ‘has’.

2 Lit. ‘and uncovered the covering of my sons' uncleanness’.

3 Or ‘respect for others’.

1 In verses 1 and 2 b om. ‘has no inkling … if he commits fornication’ through homioteleuton, and then adds a negative before ‘goes away’ to help the sense.

2 Lit. ‘wine and flesh I did not take’.

3 Lit. ‘for ever’.

4 Lit. ‘the smallest prop of his poverty’.

1 Or ‘with a merry heart’: lit. ‘in gladness’.

2 Lit. ‘being respectful…not being respectful’.

3 b adds ‘you will live’ and so understands the sentence differently (‘If you drink … with moderation … you will live’).

4 b seems to be defective here: the other MSS differ widely, though they agree on the general sense.

5 Lit. ‘war’.

1 Lit. ‘shapeliness’.

2 Lit. ‘caused grief with regard to the word of’.

3 Lit. ‘the royal thing will stand’.

1 Lit. ‘blind the inclination of the soul’.

2 Lit. ‘And he hinders the sacrifices of God’.

3 Lit. ‘by a word of godliness’.

1 Or ‘those that do not exist’.

1 Lit. ‘the spirit of the understanding of the mind’.

2 Lit. ‘And the things of truth and the things of error are written on the breast of man’.

3 Lit. ‘in the breast of his bones’.

4 Lit. ‘is burned up out of’.

1 Lit. ‘love Levi’.

2 bd om. ‘unless … kingdom’.

3 Lit. ‘thee’. Note the abrupt change to second person singular (cp. T. Iss. v. 4–5): chi accordingly add ‘the angel of the Lord said to me’ before ‘the Lord chose him’.

4 So b (l): II-l ‘the first-fruits of the choice offerings’.

5 b om. ‘But … Jacob’.

6 So ba: II-a ‘among them’.

7 Lit. ‘be’.

8 Gr. ‘ibises’.

1 Lit. ‘until the salvation of Israel comes, until the appearing (Gk. παϱουσία) of the God of righteousness’.

2 Lit. ‘the power of my kingdom’.

3 So b g: the other MSS vary, but give much the same sense.

1 Lit. ‘and dogs for tearing enemies in pieces’.

2 So b g: II-g ‘until’.

1 Lit. ‘the fountain to the life of’.

2 Or ‘through’ (lit. ‘in’).

1 So gdm ef: bl chi ‘the Lord blessed’; kn lacking.

2 Lit. ‘the delicacy’ (= ἡ τϱυφή, used a number of times in the Greek Old Testament to render the Hebrew ‘Eden’).

3 So b Arm. (cp. Deut. xxxiii. 24 ): others ‘the moon’.

4 So b: dm ef ‘in hunger’; l g a chi lacking.

5 Lit. ‘in life’.

1 All the MSS read either ‘his way’ (bl) or ‘his ways’ (II-l): chi, in addition, have ‘hold fast to’ instead of ‘make straight’.

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