The Testament of Simeon

the second son of Jacob and Leah

Chapter 1

1:1 “A copy of the words of Simeon, which he spoke to his sons before he died in the hundred and twentieth year of his life, at the time when his brother Joseph died.”
1:2 “While Simeon was sick his sons came to see him, and becoming stronger, he sat up, kissed them, and said,”

Chapter 2

2:1 “Listen, my children, to Simeon, your father, and I shall tell you the things which I have in my heart.”
2:2 “I was born of Jacob, a second son for my father; and Leah, my mother, called me Simeon because the Lord had heard her prayer.”
2:3 “And I became extraordinarily strong; I did not hold back from any exploit, nor did I fear anything.”
2:4 “My heart was firm, my courage was high, and my feelings were dispassionate.”
2:5 “For by the Most High, manly courage is given to men in soul and body.”
2:6 “In the time of my youth I was jealous of Joseph, because my father loved him more than the rest of us.”
2:7 “I determined inwardly to destroy him, because the Prince of Error blinded my mind so that I did not consider him as a brother nor did I spare Jacob, my father.”
2:8 “But his God and the God of our fathers sent his messenger and delivered him from my hands.”
2:9 “For when I went to Shechem to procure an unguent for the flocks, and Reuben went to Dothan where our supplies and stores were, my brother Judah sold him to the Ishmaelites.”
2:10 “When Reuben heard this he was sorrowful, for he wanted to restore him to his father.”
2:11 “But when I heard it, I was furious with Judah because he had let him go away alive. For five months I was angry with him.”
2:12 “The Lord bound my hands and feet, however, and thus prevented my hands from performing their deeds, because for seven days my right hand became partly withered.”
2:13 “I knew, children, that this had happened to me because of Joseph, so I repented and wept. Then I prayed to the Lord God that my hand might be restored and that I might refrain from every defilement and grudge and from all folly, for I knew that I had contemplated an evil deed in the sight of the Lord and of Jacob, my father, on account of Joseph, my brother, because of my envying him.”

Chapter 3

3:1 “And now, my children, pay heed to me. Beware of the spirit of deceit and envy.”
3:2 “For envy dominates the whole of man’s mind and does not permit him to eat or drink or to do anything good.”
3:3 “Rather it keeps prodding him to destroy the one whom he envies. Whenever the one who is envied flourishes, the envious one languishes.”
3:4 “Out of the fear/reverence of the Lord I chastened my soul by fasting for two years. And I came to know that liberation from envy occurs through fear/reverence of the Lord.”
3:5 “If anyone flees to the Lord for refuge, the evil spirit will quickly depart from him, and his mind will be eased.”
3:6 “From then on he has compassion on the one whom he envied and has sympathetic feelings with those who love him, thus his envy ceases.”

Chapter 4

4:1 “Now my father was inquiring about me because he saw that I was sullen.”
4:2 “And I said to him, I am inwardly in pain, for I was more sorrowful than all of them because it was I who was responsible for what had been done to Joseph.”
4:3 “And when we went down into Egypt and he placed me in fetters as a spy, I knew that I was suffering justly, and I did not lament.”
4:4 “But Joseph was a good man, one who had within him the spirit of God, and being full of compassion and mercy he did not bear ill will toward me, but loved me as well as my brothers.”
4:5 “Guard yourselves therefore, my children, from all jealousy and envy. Live in the integrity of your heart, so that God might give you grace and glory and blessing upon your heads, just as you have observed in Joseph.”
4:6 “In all his days he did not reproach us for this deed, but he loved us as his own life; he extolled us more than he did his own sons, and he showered us with wealth, flocks, and produce.”
4:7 “And you, my children, each of you love his brothers with a good heart, and the spirit of envy will depart from you.”
4:8 “For that attitude makes the soul savage and corrupts the body; it foments wrath and conflict in the reason, excites to the shedding of blood, drives the mind to distraction, arouses tumult in the soul and trembling in the body.”
4:9 “Even in sleep some passion for evil fills his fantasy and consumes him; by evil spirits it stirs up his soul and fills his body with terror. In distress it rouses his mind from sleep, and like and evil, penetrating spirit, so it manifests itself to human beings.”

Chapter 5

5:1 “Because nothing evil resided in Joseph, he was attractive in appearance and handsome to behold, for the face evidences any troubling of the spirit.”
5:2 “And now my children, Make your hearts virtuous in the Lord’s sight, make your paths straight before men, and you shall continually find grace with the Lord and with men.”
5:3 “Guard yourselves from sexual promiscuity because fornication is the mother of all wicked deeds; it separates from God and leads men to Beliar/Satan.”
5:4 “For I have seen in a copy of the book of Enoch that your sons will be ruined by promiscuity, and they shall injure with a sword the sons of Levi.”
5:5 “But they shall not be able to withstand Levi, because he shall wage the Lord’s war and will triumph over all your battalions.”
5:6 “These forces distributed among Levi and Judah will be few in number, and from you there will be no one for leadership, just as our father predicted in his blessings.”

Chapter 6

6:1 “See, I have told you everything, so that I might be exonerated with regard to your sin.”
6:2 “If you divest yourselves of envy and every hardness of heart, my bones will flourish as a rose in Israel and my flesh as a lily in Jacob. My odor shall be like the odor of Lebanon. Holy ones shall be multiplied from me forever and ever, and their branches shall extend to a great distance.”
6:3 “Then the seed of Canaan will be destroyed, and there will be no posterity of Amalek. All the Cappadocians shall be destroyed and all the Hittites shall be wholly obliterated.”
6:4 “The land of Ham shall be wanting, and all that people shall perish. Then the whole earth shall be at rest from trouble, and everything under heaven shall be free from war.”
6:5 “Then Shem shall be glorified; because God the Lord, the Great One in Israel, will be manifest upon the earth [as a man]. By himself will he save Adam.”
6:6 “Then all the spirits of error shall be given over to being trampled underfoot. And men will have mastery over the evil spirits”
6:7 “Then I shall arise in gladness and I shall bless the Most High for his marvels.”

Chapter 7

7:1 “And now, my children, be obedient to Levi and to Judah. Do not exalt yourselves above these two tribes, [because from them will arise the Savior come from God].”
7:2 “For the Lord will raise up from Levi someone as high priest and from Judah someone as king [God and man]. He will save all the gentiles/nations and the tribe/race of Israel.”
7:3 “For this reason I command these things to you and you command them to your children, so that they may observe them in their successive generations.”

Chapter 8

8:1 “And when Simeon had finished his instructions to his sons, he fell asleep with his fathers at the age of one hundred and twenty years.”
8:2 “They placed him in a wooden coffin in order to carry his bones up to Hebron; they took them up in secret during a war with Egypt.”
8:3 “The bones of Joseph the Egyptians kept in the tombs of the kings, since their wizards/magi told them that at the departure of Joseph’s bones there would be darkness and gloom in the whole land and a great plague on the Egyptians, so that even with a lamp no one could recognize his brother.”

Chapter 9

9:1 “And the sons of Simeon uttered lamentations for their father.”
9:2 “And they were in Egypt until the day of their departure by the hand of Moses.

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