The Eighth Son of Jacob and Bilhah.
Naphtali, the eighth son of Jacob and Bilhah. The Runner. A lesson in physiology.
THE copy of, the testament of Naphtali, which he ordained at the time of his death in the hundred and thirtieth year of his life.
2 When his sons were gathered together in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, while still in good health, he made them a feast of food and wine.
3 And after he was awake in the morning, he said to them, I am dying; and they believed him not.
4 And as he glorified the Lord, he grew strong and said that after yesterday's feast he should die.
5 And he began then to say: Hear, my children, ye sons of Naphtali, hear the words of your father.
6 I was born from Bilhah, and because Rachel dealt craftly, and gave Bilhah in place of herself to Jacob, and she conceived and bare me upon Rachel's knees, therefore she called my name Naphtali.
7 For Rachel loved me very much because I was born upon her lap; and when I was still young she was wont to kiss me, and say: May I have a brother of thine from mine own womb, like unto thee.
8 Whence also Joseph was like unto me in all things, according to the prayers of Rachel.
9 Now my mother was Bilhah, daughter of Rotheus the brother of Deborah, Rebecca's nurse, who was born on one and the self-same day with Rachel.
10 And Rotheus was of the family of Abraham, a Chaldean, God-fearing, free-born, and noble.
11 And he was taken captive and was bought by Laban; and
he gave him Euna his handmaid to wife, and she bore a daughter, and called her name Zilpah, after the name of the village in which he had been taken captive.
12 And next she bore Bilhah, saying: My daughter hastens after what is new, for immediately that she was born she seized the breast and hastened to suck it.
13 And I was swift on my feet like the deer, and my father Jacob appointed me for all messages, and as a deer did he give me his blessing.
14 For as the potter knoweth the vessel, how much it is to contain, and bringeth clay accordingly, so also doth the Lord make the body after the likeness of the spirit, and according to the capacity of the body doth He implant the spirit.
15 And the one does not fall short of the other by a third part of a hair; for by weight, and measure, and rule was all the creation made.
16 And as the potter knoweth the use of each vessel, what it is meet for, so also doth the Lord know the body, how far it will persist in goodness, and when it beginneth in evil.
17 For there is no inclination or thought which the Lord knoweth not, for He created every man after His own image.
18 For as a man's strength, so also in his work; as his eye, so also in his sleep; as his soul, so also in his word either in the law of the Lord or in the law of Beliar.
19 And as there is a division between light and darkness, between seeing and hearing, so also is there a division between man and man, and between woman and woman; and it is not to be said that the one is like the other either in face or in mind.
20 For God made all things good in their order, the five senses in the head, and He joined on the neck to the head, adding to it the hair also for comeliness and glory, then the heart for understanding, the belly for excrement, and the stomach for grinding, the windpipe for taking in the breath, the liver for wrath, the gall for bitterness, the spleen for laughter, the reins for prudence, the muscles of the loins for power, the lungs for drawing in, the loins for strength, and so forth.
21 So then, my children, let all your works be done in order with good intent in the fear of God, and do nothing disorderly in scorn or out of its due season.
22 For if thou bid the eye to hear, it cannot; so neither while ye are in darkness can ye do the works of light.
23 Be ye, therefore, not eager to corrupt your doings through covetousness or with vain words to beguile your souls; because if ye keep silence in purity of heart, ye shall understand how to hold fast the will of God, and to cast away the will of Beliar.
24 Sun and moon and stars, change not their order; so do ye also change not the law of God in the disorderliness of your doings.
25 The Gentiles went astray, and forsook the Lord, and charged their order, and obeyed stocks and stones, spirits of deceit.
26 But ye shall not be so, my children, recognizing in the firmament, in the earth, and in the sea, and in all created things, the Lord who made all things, that ye become not as Sodom, which changed the order of nature.
27 In like manner the Watchers also changed the order of their nature, whom the Lord cursed at the flood, on whose account He made the earth without inhabitants and fruitless.
28 These things I say unto
you, my children, for I have read in the writing of Enoch that ye yourselves also shall depart from the Lord, walking according to all the lawlessness of the Gentiles, and ye shall do according to all the wickedness of Sodom.
29 And the Lord shall bring captivity upon you, and there shall ye serve your enemies, and ye shall be bowed down with every affliction and tribulation, until the Lord have consumed you all.
30 And after ye have become diminished and made few, ye return and acknowledge the Lord your God; and He shall bring you back into your land, according to His abundant mercy.
31 And it shall be, that after that they come into the land of their fathers, they shall again forget the Lord and become ungodly.
32 And the Lord shall scatter them upon the face of all the earth, until the compassion of the Lord shall come, a man working righteousness and working mercy unto all them that are afar off, and to them that are near.