The Testament of Naphtali

The Testament of Naphtali

Chapter 1

1 The copy of the testament of Naphtali, which he ordained at the time of his death in the hundred

2 and thirtieth year of his life. When his sons were gathered together in the seventh month, on the

3 first day of the month, while still in good health, he made them a feast of food and wine. And after

4 he was awake in the morning, he said to them, I am dying; and they believed him not. And as he

5 glorified the Lord, he grew strong and said that after yesterday’s feast he should die. And he began

6 then to say: Hear, my children, ye sons of Naphtali, hear the words of your father. I was born from Bilhah, and because Rachel dealt craftily, and gave Bilhah in place of herself to Jacob, and she

7 conceived and bare me upon Rachel’s knees, therefore she called my name Naphtali. For Rachel loved me very much because I was born upon her lap; and when I was still young she was wont

8 to kiss me, and say: May I have a brother of thine from mine own womb, like unto thee. Whence

9 also Joseph was like unto me in all things, according to the prayers of Rachel. Now my mother was Bilhah, daughter of Rotheus the brother of Deborah, Rebecca’s nurse, who was born on one and

10 the self-same day with Rachel. And Rotheus was of the family of Abraham, a Chaldean, God