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The Testament of Gad

the ninth son of Jacob and Zilpah

Chapter 1

1:1 “A copy of the testament of Gad, concerning what he said to his sons in the one hundred twenty-seventh year of his life, saying,”
1:2 “I was Jacob’s ninth son; among the shepherds I was brave.”
1:3 “I guarded the flock at night, and when the lion came, the wolf, the leopard, the bear or any other wild animal attacked the flock, I pursued it, seized it by the foot with my hand, crushed and blinded it, and hurled it a distance of twelve hundred feet.”
1:4 “Now Joseph was tending the flocks with me for about thirty days, and since he was delicate, he became faint from the heat, and went back to Hebron to his father.”
1:5 “He made Joseph lie down close to him because he loved him.”
1:6 “And Joseph said to his father, the sons of Zilpah and Bilhah are killing the best animals and eating them against the advice of Judah and Reuben.”
1:7 “He saw that I had set free a lamb from the mouth of a bear, which I then killed, but that I had killed the lamb when I was saddened to see that it was too weak to live; and we had eaten it.”
1:8 “This he told our father. On this matter I bore a grudge against Joseph until the day he was sold into Egypt;”
1:9 “The spirit of hatred was in me because we had eaten the newborn of the flocks without Judah. And whatever Joseph told our father, he believed him.”

Chapter 2

2:1 “I now confess my sin, children, that frequently I wanted to kill him; to the depth of my soul I hated him and any inner feeling of mercy toward him was completely absent.”
2:2 “Because of his dreams my hatred toward him increased and I wanted to gobble him from among the living as an ox gobbles up grass from the ground.”
2:3 “For this reason Judah and I sold him to the Ishmaelites for thirty pieces of gold; we hid ten pieces and showed only the twenty to our brothers.”
2:4 “Thus it was through greed that our plot to kill him was carried out.”
2:5 “But the God of my fathers rescued him from my hands so that I might not perform a lawless deed in Israel.”

Chapter 3

3:1 “And now children, listen to the words of truth: to perform justice and every law of the Most High; not to be led astray by the spirit of hatred because it is evil beyond all human deeds.”
3:2 “Whatever anyone does, he who hates is revolted; if he fears the Lord and hopes for good things, the hater has no love for him.”
3:3 “The hater disparages truth, envies the successful person, relishes slander, loves arrogance, because hatred blinds his soul. It was in this way that I regarded Joseph.”

Chapter 4

4:1 “Beware, my children, of those who hate, because it leads to lawlessness against the Lord himself.”
4:2 “Hatred does not want to hear repeated his commands concerning love of neighbor, and thus it sins against God.”
4:3 “For if a brother makes a false step, immediately it wants to spread the tale to everyone, and is eager to have him condemned for it, punished, and executed.”
4:4 “If the hater is a slave, he conspires against his master, and whenever difficulty arises it plots how he might be killed.”
4:5 “Hatred collaborates with envy, when it sees or hears about the prosperity of those who do well, it is perpetually peevish.”
4:6 “Just as love wants to bring the dead back to life and to recall those under sentence of death, so hate wants to kill the living and does not wish to preserve alive those who have committed the slightest sin.”
4:7 “For among all men the spirit of hatred works by Satan through human frailty for the death of mankind; but the spirit of love works by the Law of God through forbearance for the salvation of mankind.”

Chapter 5

5:1 “Hatred is evil, since it continually consorts with lying, speaking against the truth; it makes small things big, turns light into darkness, says that the sweet is bitter, teaches slander, conflict, violence, and all manner of greed; it fills the heart with diabolical venom.”
5:2 “I tell you this, my children, from experience, so that you might escape hatred and cling to love of the Lord.”
5:3 “Righteousness expels hatred; humility kills envy. For the person who is just and humble is ashamed to commit an injustice, not because someone else will pass judgment on him but out of his own heart, because the Lord considers his inner deliberations.”
5:4 “He will not denounce a fellow man, since fear/reverence of the Most High overcomes hatred.”
5:5 “Being concerned not to arouse the Lord’s anger, he is completely unwilling to wrong anyone, even in his thoughts.”
5:6 “I understood this at the last, after I had repented concerning Joseph,”
5:7 “For according to God’s truth, repentance destroys disobedience, puts darkness to flight, illumines the vision, furnishes knowledge for the soul, and guides the deliberative powers to salvation.”
5:8 “What it has not learned from human agency, it understands through repentance.”
5:9 “For God brought on me a disease of the liver, and if it had not been for the prayers of Jacob, my father, he would shortly have summoned from me my spirit.”
5:10 “For by whatever human capacity anyone transgresses, by that he is also chastised.”
5:11 “Since my anger was merciless in opposition to Joseph, through this anger of mine I suffered mercilessly, and was brought under judgment for eleven months, as long as I had had it in for Joseph, until he was sold.”

Chapter 6

6:1 “Now, my children, each of you love his brother. Drive hatred out of your hearts. Love one another in deed and word and inward thoughts.”
6:2 “For when I stood before my father I would speak peaceable about Joseph, but when I went out, the spirit of hatred darkened my mind and aroused my soul to kill him.”
6:3 “Love one another from the heart, therefore, and if anyone sins against you, speak to him in peace. Expel the venom of hatred, and do not harbor deceit in your heart. If anyone confesses and repents, forgive him.”
6:4 “If anyone denies his guilt, do not be contentious with him, otherwise he may start cursing, and you would be sinning doubly.”
6:5 “In a dispute do not let an outsider hear your secrets, since out of hatred for you he may become your enemy, and commit a great sin against you. He may talk to you frequently but treacherously, or be much concerned with you, but for an evil end, having absorbed from you the venom.”
6:6 “Even if he denies it and acts disgracefully out of a sense of guilt, be quiet and do not become upset. For he who denies will repent, and avoid offending you again; indeed he will honor you, will respect you and be at peace.”
6:7 “But even if he is devoid of shame and persists in his wickedness, forgive him from the heart and leave vengeance to God.”

Chapter 7

7:1 “If anyone prospers more than you, do not be aggrieved, but pray for him that he may prosper completely, for this is what is precisely to your advantage.”
7:2 “And if he becomes even more exalted, do not be envious, but remember that all humanity dies. Offer praise to the Lord who provides good and beneficial things for all mankind.”
7:3 “Search out the Lord’s judgments, and thus you shall gain an inheritance and your mind will be at rest.”
7:4 “Even if someone becomes rich by evil schemes, as did Esau, your father’s brother, do not be jealous; wait for the Lord to set the limits.”
7:5 “For if he takes away the things obtained by evil means, those who repent receive forgiveness, and the impenitent one receives eternal punishment.”
7:6 “The man who is poor but free from envy, who is grateful to the Lord for everything, is richer than all, because he does not love the foolish things that are a temptation common to mankind.”
7:7 “Drive hatred away from your souls, and love one another in uprightness of heart.”

Chapter 8

8:1 “Tell these things to your children as well, so that they will honor Judah and Levi, because from them the Lord will raise up a Savior for Israel.”
8:2 “I know that at the end your children will depart from them and will live in all manner of wickedness and evildoing and corruption in the sight of the Lord.”
8:3 “Then after he had been silent for a brief time he said again to them, My children, obey your father. Bury me near my fathers.”
8:4 “He drew up his feet and fell asleep in peace. And after five years they took him up and buried him in Hebron with his fathers.”

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