Page:LostApocryphaOfTheOldTestamentMRJames.djvu/37

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THE OLD TESTAMENT

Decree, where many copies read wrongly Testamentum Jacobi for Test. Jobi. What this printed Testament of Jacob, current in Italy in the sixteenth century, may have been, I have not been able to determine with certainty. There is just the chance that, as the Vision of Isaiah was printed in Latin more than once and wholly forgotten, so some really apocryphal work may have had a brief life; but it is far more likely that some réchauffé of the Blessings of Jacob, circulated with the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, is meant. Such a thing is, in fact, prefixed to some of the old translations of these Testaments, e. g. the English one printed by Richard Day.

There is, besides, a proper apocryph of Jacob in the shape of the Ladder of Jacob, extant only in Slavonic, and translated by Bonwetsch in the Göttingen Nachrichten for 1900, in two recensions. I shall reproduce this in English in the Appendix to this volume.


The Twelve Patriarchs. Levi

The Twelve Patriarchs have their well-known Testaments, of which Dr. Charles has given us an indispensable edition. It seems as if behind the present Testaments there lay, in some cases, earlier documents of which we have glimpses. For instance, the story of the wars of Jacob is found in Jubilees and in Jashar, as Dr. Charles sets forth. Then, again, we have a double narrative in the Testament of Joseph. In that of Levi a different phenomenon occurs. A tenth-century MS. at Mount Athos (e. of Dr. Charles) makes two long insertions in the text: (a third, in the Testament of Asher, is said to be wholly Christian, and is not printed by Dr. Charles). These two passages, the first of which is not as yet translated, merit notice here.

(1) Test. Levi II.—"And as I kept sheep in Abelmaoul, a spirit of understanding from the Lord came upon me, and I beheld how all men had corrupted their ways and how sin was builded upon a wall (so far the ordinary text: now the Athos MS. continues):