The Testament of Reuben

The Testament of Reuben

Chapter 1

1 The copy of the Testament of Reuben, even the commands which he gave his sons before he

2 died in the hundred and twenty-fifth year of his life. Two years after the death of Joseph his

3 brother, when Reuben fell ill, his sons and his sons’ sons were gathered together to visit him. And

4 he said to them: My children, behold I am dying, and go the way of my fathers. And seeing there Judah, and Gad, and Asher, his brethren, he said to them: Raise me up, that I may tell to my brethren and to my children what things I have hidden in my heart, for behold now at length

5 I am passing away. And he arose and kissed them, and said unto them: Hear, my brethren, and

6 do ye, my children, give ear to Reuben your father in the commands which I give unto you. And behold I call to witness against you this day the God of heaven, that ye walk not in the sins of

7 youth and fornication, wherein I was poured out, and defiled the bed of my father Jacob. And I tell you that he smote me with a sore plague in my loins for seven months; and had not my father

8 Jacob prayed for me to the Lord, the Lord would have destroyed me. For I was thirty years old

9 when I wrought the evil thing before the Lord, and for seven months I was sick unto death. And