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Levi, sect. 18.“ And under his priesthood the Gentiles shall be multiplied in knowledge upon the earth, and shall be illuminated by the grace of the Lord. But Israel shall be made little by their ignorance, and shall be darkened by their sorrow.'
The character of the Messiah, together with some other matters, is represented in the following passages.
10. Levi, sect. 18. • And then will the Lord raise up a new priest, to whom all the words of the Lord will be revealed. And he shall make the judgment of truth upon
. the earth in the fulness of days. And
his star sball arise in heaven as a king, affording light, the light of knowledge, above the sun in the day time: and he shall be magnified in the whole world, until his assumption.'
Here seems to be a reference to Matt. ij. 2, as well as a general description of our Lord's ministry.
11. Levi, sect. 18. “ The heavens shall be opened, and out of the temple of glory shall the sanctification come upon him, with the voice of the Father, as [it came] unto Abraham the father of Isaac. See Matt. iii. 16, 17.
12. Judah, sect. 24. And after this,' says Judah to his sons, a star shall arise to you out of Jacob, in
and a man shall be raised up out of thy seed, as a sun of righteousness, conversing with the sons of men in meekness and righteousness, and no sin shall be found in him. And the heaven shall be opened upon him, to pour out the Spirit, the blessing of bis Holy Father. And he himself shall pour the spirit upon you, and ye shall be to him sons in truth, Numb. xxiv. 17. See again, Matt. iii. 16, 17, and Acts ü.
13. Zabulon, sect. 9. • And" after these things' the Lord himself, the light of righteousness, will arise to you, and there will be healing and commiseration under his wings. He himself will redeem all the captivity of the sons of men from Belial. And every spirit of error shall be trodden down. And he shall convert all the Gentiles to have a zeal for him, and ye shall see God in the form of man, in Jerusalem, which the Lord will so name. And again you will provoke him to anger with the wickedness of your words, and ye shall be cast away till the time of the consummation.' Mal. iv. 2.
14. Naphtali, sect. 8. ' Do you therefore also charge your sons that they be united to Levi, and to Judah; for through η Και μετα ταυτα ανατελει υμιν αυτος Κυριος φως δικαιοσυνης.
Or, · The Lord himself will raise up the light of righteousness.' So Mr. Whiston.
P Και οψεσθε θεον εν σχηματι ανθρωπο.
Judah shall salvation arise to Israel, and in him shall Jacob be blessed. For by his 9 tribe [or. sceptre'] shall God appear inhabiting arnong men upon the earth,
to save the stock of Israel. And he will gather together the righteous of the Gentiles.'
15. Benjamin, sect. 10. • Then shall we also rise again, every one upon our sceptre, adoring' the King of the heavens, who appeared upon earth in the form of man's humiliation [or, in the form of a man of humiliation']. And as many as have believed on him upon earth, shall rejoice together with him. At which time all men shall rise again, some to glory, and others to disgrace. And the Lord will judge Israel in the first place, on account of their injustice to him; because they did not believe in God, when he came as their deliverer in the flesh.'
16. Simeon, sect. 6. • Then shall Sem be glorified, when the Lord, the great God of Israel, shall appear upon earth as a man, and shall save Adam by himself. Then shall I rise again with gladness, and shall bless the Most High for his wonderful works, because u God, taking a body, and eating with them, hath saved them.' 17. Aser, sect. 7. until the Most High shall visit
• the earth, and he himself shall come as a man, eating and drinking with men, and in silence bruising the head of the dragon by water. He shall save Israel and all the Gentiles.'
18. Levi, sect. 16. • And now I know, by the book of Enoch, -that you will despise the words of the prophets, and in your perverseness you will persecute righteous men, and hate the holy: you will abominate the words of those that speak truth; and you will declare that man, who
w renews the law in the power of the Most High, a deceiver : and in the end, as you suppose, you will kill him, not knowing his resurrection, and by malice will bring innocent blood upon your heads. And for his sake your holy places will become desolate, being profaned to the foundation.' And more to the same purpose. One can hardly help
4 Δια γαρ το σκηπτρο αυτ8 οφθησεται θεος, κατοικων εν ανθρωπους επι της γης.
Προσκυνοντες τον βασιλεα των ουρανων, τον επι γης φανεντα εν μορφη ανθρωπε ταπεινωσεως. Περι της εις αυτον αδικιας, ότι παραγενομενον θεον εν σαρκι ελευθερωτην
* Οτε Κυριος, ο θεος μεγας του Ισραηλ, φαινομενος επι γης ως ανθρωπος, κ. λ.
τι ο θεος σωμα λαβων, και συνεσθιων ανθρωποις, εσωσεν αυτες. ' Εως ου ο ύψισος επισκεψηται την γην, και αυτος ελθων ως ανθρωπος, εσθιων και πινων μετα των ανθρωπων.
Και ανδρα ανακαινοποιοντα τον νομον εν δυναμει υψις, πλανoν προσαγορευσετε.
thinking, that this pretended ancient prophecy is founded upon the event, and Matt. xxiii. 34, to the end.
The following passages I put down, as containing allu sions or references to the books of the New Testament.
19. Dan, sect. 6. His name in every place of Israel, and among the Gentiles, shall be the Saviour.' See Matt. . i. 21.
20. Joseph, sect. 3. • I therefore called to mind the words of the fathers of my father Jacob : and * entering into my closet, I prayed to the Lord,' Matt. vi. 6.
One would think that the author, when he wrote this, was afraid he should be suspected of borrowing from St. Matthew's gospel, or some late direction conformable to it. Joseph therefore is made to say, he recollected the words of his fathers.'
21. Joseph, sect. 1, says to his sons : "I was sold for a servant, and God made me free; I was taken as a captive, and his strong hand helped me. -I was in weakness, and the Most High visited me: I was in prison, and my Saviour dealt graciously with me; under false accusations, and he pleaded for me.' See Matt. xxv. 35, 36.
In several of the passages before alleged are references to some parts of this gospel. See Numb. v. 11, 12, 18.
22. Judah, sect. 25, prophesying of Christ, says: . And they that died in sorrow shall rise again in joy; and they that were in poverty for the Lord's sake shall be made rich; and they that were in want shall be filled ; and they
1 that were in weakness shall be made strong ; and they that have died for the Lord shall be wakened in life. But the impious shall mourn, and the sinner shall weep.'
I suppose that these things are borrowed chiefly from Matt. v. at the beginning ; and Luke vi. 20—25.
23. Levi, sect. 18, prophesying of Christ, says: “ And Beliar shall be bound by him, and he y shall give power to his children to tread upon the wicked spirits.' See Luke x. 18, 19.
24. Gad, sect. 6. And if any one sin against thee, speak to him peaceably ;
-andi if he confess his fault, , forgive him.' 'See Luke xvii. 3, 4.
25. Joseph, sect. 17, says to his sons : Nor did I arrogantly exalt myself among them (my brethren] on account of my worldly glory, but I was ainong them as one of the least of them.' See Luke xxii. 27.
* Και εισερχομενος εις το ταμιειον, προσευχoμην Κυριφ.
Και εαν ομολογησας μετανοηση, αφες αυτο.
26. Levi, sect. 5. And the angel opened to me the gates of heaven, and I saw the holy temple, and the Most High upon the throne of glory. And he said unto me, Levi, to thee have I given the blessings of priesthood, until I come and inhabit in the midst of Israel.' See Jobo i. 11, 14.
27. Benjamin, sect. 3, says that Joseph entreated Jacob to pray for his brethren, that the Lord would not impute to them what they had wickedly contrived against him. • Whereupon Jacob cried out, O my good son Joseph,the prophecy of beaven, concerning the Lamb of God and Saviour of the world, shall be fulfilled in thee: for the spotless one shall be delivered up for transgressors, and the sinless one shall die for the impious, in the blood of the covenant, for the salvation of Israel and of all the Gentiles. And he shall destroy Beliar, and those that minister unto him.' See John i. 29, “ Behold the Lamb of God, wbich taketh away the sin of the world.” See likewise Rom. v. 6, 8; Heb. ix. 14; 1 Pet. i. 19.
28. Benjamin, sect. 9. And the twelve tribes shall be gathered there, [at Jerusalem,] and all nations, until the Most High send his salvation, in the visitation of the onlybegotten. And he shall come to the first temple, and there the Lord shall be ill treated, and shall be lifted up upon a tree, and the veil of the temple shall be rent : anda the Spirit of God shall descend upon [orremove to '] the Gentiles, as fire poured out upon them. And, coming up out of hell, he shall ascend from earth to heaven. Now I know how low he shall be upon earth, and how glorious in heaven.'
This passage confirms, beside other things, the history of the book of the Acts, and of the epistles. See particularly Acts i. 1–11; ii. 30–33; x. 44. It likewise affords good evidence, that the author is not a judaizer. See hereafter, Numb. 35.
29. Naphtali, sect. 4. . Until the compassion of the Lord come, a man doing righteousness, and b exercising mercy to all that are afar of, and that are nigh. See Eph. ii. 17.
30. Dan, sect. 5. Buto depart from anger, and hate lying, that the Lord may dwell in you. Speak every one truth to his neighbour.' See Eph. iv, 25, 26. There is a
. like exhortation in the Testament of Reuben, sect. 6.
• Καταβησεται [al. μεταβησεται] το πνευμα του θεου επι τα εθνη, ως πυρ εκχυνόμενον.
Και ποιων ελεος εις παντας τους μακράν, και τους εγγυς. Απoσητε απο θυμου, και μισησετε το ψευδος, ίνα Κυριος κατοικηση εν υμιν. Αληθειαν λαλειτε έκαςος προς τον πλησιον αυτου.
31. Levi, sect. 6. • And the wrath of the Lord came upon
them to the uttermost.' See 1 Thess. ii. 16. Mr. Whistone thinks that St. Paul alludes to this place of our Twelve Testaments; and Grabef is of much the same opinion. I do not affirm that this expression of the apostle was never used by any one before him ; for that is more than we can be sure of. On the other hand, I know of no proof that St. Paul was acquainted with this book : whereas, I think it will appear plain to every one presently, that this author was acquainted with St. Paul's epistles, and therefore might borrow this expression, as well as other things, from them.
32. Dan, sect. 6. • But draw near to God, and the angel that pleads for you, for 8 he is the mediator between God and men for the peace of Israel.' See 1 Tim. ii. v. Here also God is styled the h • Father of the Gentiles;' as he is called their God by Paul, Rom. iii. 29.
33. Reuben, sect. 6. • I charge you to hearken to Levi, for he shall know the law of the Lord, tilli the completion of the times of the high priest Christ, of whom the Lord has spoken'
This is a character of the Messiah much insisted on in these Testaments, as well as in the epistle to the Hebrews : whether this author learned it thence, I cannot say. In the Testament of Naphtali, sect. 2, is somewhat resembling Heb. iv. 12, 13.
34. Levi, sect. 18. · And after vengeance shall be taken of these by the Lord, and the priesthood shall fail, the Lord will raise up a new priest, -and therek shall be none to succeed him, from one generation to another, for ever.' This passage should be compared with Heb. vii. 22–24.
35. Benjamin, sect. 11. Moreover,' says Benjamin, “I shall be no longer called a ravening wolf, on account of your ravages; but the Lord's labourer, distributing food to those who work that which is good. And in the last days shall be raised up out of my seed one beloved of the Lord, who shall hear his voice and enlighten all the Gentiles with new knowledge, affording [them) the light of knowledge in the salvation of Israel : snatching it like a wolf from them, and giving it to the congregation of the Gentiles: and until
Εφθασε δε η οργη Κυριε επ' αυτους εις τελος. e Authentic Records, p. 313.
Spicileg. T. i. p. 138. 8 Οτι αυτος εςι μεσιτης
και ανθρωπων. Iνα δεξηται υμας ο Ιατηρ των εθνων.
Μεχρι τελειωσεως χρονων αρχιερεως Χρισου, ον ειπε Κυριος. * Και ουκ εσαι διαδοχη αυτου εις γενεας και γενεας, έως αιωνος.