The Testament of Benjamin

the twelfth son of Jacob and Rachel

Chapter 1

1:1 “A copy of the words of Benjamin which he testified to his sons, having lived one hundred twenty-five years.”
1:2 “He kissed them and said, Just as Isaac was born to Abraham in his old age, so I was born to Jacob.”
1:3 “Since Rachel, my mother, died as she was bearing me, I had no milk from her, but was nursed instead by Bilhah, her maid servant.”
1:4 “For after Rachel bore Joseph she was sterile for twelve years; she prayed to the Lord, with fasting,”
1:5 “And conceived and gave birth to me. My father loved Rachel exceedingly, and prayed that he might see two sons born from her.”
1:6 “For this reason I was called Benjamin, that is son of days (old age).” (Gen 44:20)

Chapter 2

2:1 “When I came to Joseph in Egypt and my brother recognized me, he said, What did they say to my father when they sold me?”
2:2 “And I replied to him, They spattered your shirt with blood and sent it to him and said, Do you know if this shirt belongs to your son?”
2:3 “And Joseph said to me, Yes, brother. When they stripped off my shirt and gave me to the Ishmaelites, they gave me a loincloth, beat me, and told me to run.”
2:4 “One of them who had whipped me was met by a lion and it ate him.”
2:5 “So his partners were terrified and kept me under a looser rein.”

Chapter 3

3:1 “Now, my children, love the Lord God of heaven and earth; keep his commandments; pattern your life after the good and pious man Joseph.”
3:2 “Let your thoughts incline to the good, as you know to be so with me, because he who has the right set of mind sees everything rightly.”
3:3 “Fear/reverence the Lord and love your neighbor. Even if the spirits of Beliar/Satan seek to derange you with all sorts of wicked oppression, they will not dominate you, any more than they dominated Joseph, my brother.”
3:4 “How many men wanted to destroy him, and God looked out for him! For the person who fears God and loves his neighbor cannot be plagued by the spirit of Beliar/Satan since he is sheltered by the fear/reverence of God.”
3:5 “Neither man’s schemes not those of animals can prevail over him, for he is aided in living by this: by the love which he has toward his neighbor.”
3:6 “Joseph also urged our father to pray for his brothers, that the Lord would not hold them accountable for their sin which they so wickedly committed against him.”
3:7 “And Jacob cried out, O noble child, you have crushed the inner feelings of Jacob, your father. He embraced him and kept kissing him for two hours, saying,”
3:8 “In you will be fulfilled the heavenly prophecy which says that the spotless one will be defiled by lawless men and the sinless one will die for the sake of impious men.”

Chapter 4

4:1 “See then, my children, what is the goal of the good man. Be imitators of him in his goodness because of his compassion, in order that you may wear crowns of glory.”
4:2 “For a good man does not have a blind eye, but he is merciful to all, even though they may be sinners.”
4:3 “And even if persons plot against him for evil ends, by doing good this man conquers evil, being watched over by God. He loves those who wrong him as he loves his own life.”
4:4 “If anyone glorifies himself, he holds no envy. If anyone becomes rich, he is not jealous. If anyone is brave, he praises him. He loves the moderate person; he shows mercy to the impoverished; to the ill he shows compassion; he fears God.”
4:5 “He loves the person who has the gift of a good spirit as he loves his own life.”

Chapter 5

5:1 “If your mind is set toward good, even evil men will be at peace with you; the dissolute will respect you and will turn back to the good. The greedy will not only abstain from their passion but will give to the oppressed the things which they covetously hold.”
5:2 “If you continue to do good, even the unclean spirits will flee from you and wild animals will fear you.”
5:3 “For where someone has within himself respect for good works and has light in the understanding, darkness will slink away from that person.”
5:4 “For if anyone wantonly attacks a pious man, he repents, since the pious man shows mercy to the one who abused him, and maintains silence. And if anyone betrays a righteous man, the righteous man prays. Even though for a brief time he may be humbled, later he will appear far more illustrious, as happened with Joseph, my brother.”

Chapter 6

6:1 “The deliberations of the good man are not in the control of the deceitful spirit, Beliar/Satan, for the angel of peace guides his life.”
6:2 “For he does not look with passionate longing at corruptible things, nor does he accumulate wealth out of love for pleasure.”
6:3 “He does not find delight in pleasure, nor does he grieve his neighbor, nor does he stuff himself with delicacies, nor is he led astray by visual excitement: The Lord is his lot.”
6:4 “The good set of mind does not receive glory or dishonor from men, nor does it know deceit, or lying, or conflict, or abuse. For the Lord dwells in him, illumines his life, and he rejoices in everything at every appropriate time.”
6:5 “The good set of mind does not talk from both sides of its mouth: praises and curses, abuse and honor, calm and strife, hypocrisy and truth, poverty and wealth, but it has one disposition, uncontaminated and pure, toward all men.”
6:6 “There is no duplicity in its perception or its hearing. Whatever it does, or speaks, or perceives, it knows that the Lord is watching over its life,”
6:7 “For he cleanses his mind in order that he will not be suspected of wrongdoing either by men or by God. The works of Beliar/Satan are twofold, and have in them no integrity.”

Chapter 7

7:1 “So I tell you, my children, flee from the evil of Beliar/Satan, because he offers a sword to those who obey him.”
7:2 “And the sword is the mother of the seven evils; it receives them through Beliar/Satan: The first is moral corruption, the second is destruction, the third is oppression, the fourth is captivity, the fifth is want, the sixth is turmoil, the seventh is desolation.”
7:3 “It is for this reason that Cain was handed over by God for seven punishments, for in every hundredth year the Lord brought upon him one plague.”
7:4 “When he was two hundred years old suffering began and in his nine hundredth year he was deprived of life. For he was condemned on account of Abel his brother as a result of all his evil deeds, but Lamech was condemned by seventy times seven.”
7:5 “Until eternity those who are like Cain in their moral corruption and hatred of brother shall be punished with similar judgment.”

Chapter 8

8:1 “But you, my children, run from evil, corruption, and hatred of brothers;”
8:2 “Cling to goodness and love. For the person with a mind that is pure with love does not look on a woman for the purpose of having sexual relations.”
8:3 “He has no pollution in his heart, because upon him is resting the spirit of God. for just as the sun is unpolluted, though it touches dung and slime, but dries up both and drives off the bad odor, so also the pure mind, though involved with the corruptions of earth, edifies instead and is not itself corrupted.”

Chapter 9

9:1 “From the words of Enoch the Righteous I tell you that you will be sexually promiscuous like the promiscuity of the Sodomites and will perish, with few exceptions. You shall resume your actions with loose women, and the kingdom of the Lord will not be among you, for he will take it away forthwith.”
9:2 “But in your allotted place will be the temple of God, and the latter temple will exceed the former in glory. The twelve tribes shall be gathered there and all the nations, until such time as the Most High shall send forth his salvation through the ministration of the unique prophet.”

Chapter 10

10:1 “When Joseph was in Egypt I earnestly desired to see his appearance and the form of his face, and through my father Jacob’s prayers I saw him, while I was awake during the day, just as he was, his whole appearance.”
10:2 “After he had spoken these things to them he said, You know then, my children, that I am dying. do the truth, each of you to his neighbor;”
10:3 “Keep the Law of the Lord and his commandments.”
10:4 “For I leave you these things instead of an inheritance. Give them, then, to your children for an eternal possession; this is what Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did.”
10:5 “They gave us all these things as an inheritance, saying, Keep God’s commandments until the Lord reveals his salvation to all the nations.”
10:6 “And then you will see Enoch and Seth and Abraham and Isaac and Jacob being raised up at the right hand in great joy.”
10:7 “Then shall we also be raised, each of us over our tribe, and we shall prostrate ourselves before the heavenly king.”
10:8 “Then all shall be changed, some destined for glory, others for dishonor, for the Lord first judges Israel for the wrong she has committed,”
10:9 “And then he shall do the same for all the nations.”
10:10 “Then he shall judge Israel by the chosen gentiles/nations/people as he tested Esau by the Midianites who loved their brothers. You, therefore, my children, may your lot come to be with those who fear/reverence the Lord.”
10:11 “Therefore, my children, if you live in holiness, in accord with the Lord’s commands, you shall again dwell with me in hope, all Israel will be gathered to the Lord.”

Chapter 11

11:1 “And I shall no longer be called a rapacious wolf on account of your rapine, but ‘the Lord’s worker’ providing food for those who do good works.”
11:2 “And in later times there shall rise up the beloved of the Lord, from the lineage of Judah and Levi, one who does his good pleasure by his mouth, enlightening all the nations with new knowledge. The light of knowledge will mount up in Israel for her salvation, seizing them like a wolf coming upon them, gathering the tribes.”
11:3 “Until the consummation of the ages he shall be in the congregations of the gentiles/nations/people and among the rulers, like a musical air in the mouths of all.”
11:4 “He shall be written of in sacred books, both his work and his word. And he shall be God’s Chosen One forever.”
11:5 “He shall range widely among them, like my father, Jacob, saying, ‘He shall fill up what was lacking of your tribe.”

Chapter 12

12:1 “And when he had finished his statements he said, I command you, my children, carry my bones up out of Egypt; bury me in Hebron near my fathers.”
12:2 “Benjamin died last of all in his one hundred twenty-fifth year at a ripe old age, and they placed him in a coffin.”
12:3 “And in the ninety-first year after the departure of the sons of Israel for Egypt, they and their brothers took up the bones of their fathers secretly, because of the war with Canaan, and buried them in Hebron by the feet of their fathers.”
12:4 “Then they returned from the land of Canaan and resided in Egypt until the day of the departure from Egypt.”

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