Book of Jasher 56
And Jacob lived in the
years, and the days of Jacob, and the years of his life were a hundred and
forty seven years.
At that time Jacob was attacked with
that illness of which he died and he sent and called for his son Joseph from
his son came from
came unto his father.
And Jacob said unto Joseph and unto
his sons, Behold I die, and the God of your ancestors will visit you, and bring
you back to the land, which the Lord sware to give unto you and unto your
children after you, now therefore when I am dead, bury me in the cave which is
in Machpelah in Hebron in the land of Canaan, near my ancestors.
And Jacob made his sons swear to bury
him in Machpelah, in
sons swore unto him concerning this thing.
And he commanded them, saying, Serve
the Lord your God, for he who delivered your fathers will also deliver you from
And Jacob said, Call all your
children unto me, and all the children of Jacob’s sons came and sat before him,
and Jacob blessed them, and he said unto them, The Lord God of your fathers
shall grant you a thousand times as much and bless you, and may he give you the
blessing of your father Abraham; and all the children of Jacob’s sons went
forth on that day after he had blessed them.
And on the next day Jacob again
called for his sons, and they all assembled and came to him and sat before him,
and Jacob on that day blessed his sons before his death, each man did he bless
according to his blessing; behold it is written in the book of the law of the
Lord appertaining to Israel.
And Jacob said unto
son that thou art a mighty man for thy brethren; reign over them, and thy sons
shall reign over their sons forever.
Only teach thy sons the bow and all
the weapons of war, in order that they may fight the battles of their brother
who will rule over his enemies.
And Jacob again commanded his sons on
that day, saying, Behold I shall be this day gathered unto my people; carry me
Howbeit take heed I pray you that
none of your sons carry me, only yourselves, and this is the manner you shall do
unto me, when you carry my body to go with it to the land of Canaan to bury me,
Judah, Issachar and Zebulun shall
carry my bier at the eastern side; Reuben, Simeon and Gad at the south,
Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin at the west, Dan, Asher and Naphtali at the
Let not Levi carry with you, for he
and his sons will carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord with the Israelites
in the camp, neither let Joseph my son carry, for as a king so let his glory
be; howbeit, Ephraim and Manasseh shall be in their stead.
Thus shall you do unto me when you
carry me away; do not neglect any thing of all that I command you; and it shall
come to pass when you do this unto me, that the Lord will remember you
favorably and your children after you forever.
And you my sons, honor each his
brother and his relative, and command your children and your children’s
children after you to serve the Lord God of your ancestors all the days.
In order that you may prolong your
days in the land, you and your children and your children’s children for ever,
when you do what is good and upright in the sight of the Lord your God, to go
in all his ways.
And thou, Joseph my son, forgive I
pray thee the prongs of thy brethren and all their misdeeds in the injury that
they heaped upon thee, for God intended it for thine and thy children’s
And O my son leave not thy brethren
to the inhabitants of Egypt, neither hurt their feelings, for behold I consign
them to the hand of God and in thy hand to guard them from the Egyptians; and
the sons of Jacob answered their father saying, O, our father, all that thou
hast commanded us, so will we do; may God only be with us.
And Jacob said unto his sons, So may
God be with you when you keep all his ways; turn not from his ways either to
the right or the left in performing what is good and upright in his sight.
For I know that many and grievous
troubles will befall you in the latter days in the land, yea your children and
children’s children, only serve the Lord and he will save you from all trouble.
And it shall come to pass when you
shall go after God to serve him and will teach your children after you, and
your children’s children, to know the Lord, then will the Lord raise up unto
you and your children a servant from amongst your children, and the Lord will
deliver you through his hand from all affliction, and bring you out of Egypt
and bring you back to the land of your fathers to inherit it securely.
And Jacob ceased commanding his sons,
and he drew his feet into the bed, he died and was gathered to his people.
And Joseph fell upon his father and
he cried out and wept over him and he kissed him, and he called out in a bitter
voice, and he said, O my father, my father.
And his son’s wives and all his
household came and fell upon Jacob, and they wept over him, and cried in a very
loud voice concerning Jacob.
And all the sons of Jacob rose up
together, and they tore their garments, and they all put sackcloth upon their
loins, and they fell upon their faces, and they cast dust upon their heads
toward the heavens.
And the thing was told unto Osnath
Joseph’s wife, and she rose up and put on a sack and she with all the Egyptian
women with her came and mourned and wept for Jacob.
And also all the people of
Jacob came all on that day when they heard this thing, and all
And also from the
women come unto
heard that Jacob was dead, and they wept for him in
And it came to pass after this that
Joseph commanded his servants the doctors to embalm his father with myrrh and
frankincense and all manner of incense and perfume, and the doctors embalmed
Jacob as Joseph had commanded them.
And all the people of
elders and all the inhabitants of the
mourned over Jacob, and all his sons and the children of his household lamented
and mourned over their father Jacob many days.
And after the days of his weeping had
passed away, at the end of seventy days, Joseph said unto Pharaoh, I will go up
and bury my father in the
me swear, and then I will return.
And Pharaoh sent Joseph, saying, Go
up and bury thy father as he said, and as he made thee swear; and Joseph rose
up with all his brethren to go to the land of Canaan to bury their father Jacob
as he had commanded them.
And Pharaoh commanded that it should
be proclaimed throughout
Whoever goeth not up with Joseph and his brethren to the
Jacob, shall die.
And all Egypt heard of Pharaoh’s
proclamation, and they all rose up together, and all the servants of Pharaoh,
and the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt went up
with Joseph, and all the officers and nobles of Pharaoh went up as the servants
of Joseph, and they went to bury Jacob in the land of Canaan.
And the sons of Jacob carried the
bier upon which he lay; according to all that their father commanded them, so
did his sons unto him.
And the bier was of pure gold, and it
was inlaid round about with onyx stones and bdellium; and the covering of the
bier was gold woven work, joined with threads, and over them were hooks of onyx
stones and bdellium.
And Joseph placed upon the head of
his father Jacob a large golden crown, and he put a golden scepter in his hand,
and they surrounded the bier as was the custom of kings during their lives.
And all the troops of
him in this array, at first all the mighty men of Pharaoh, and the mighty men
of Joseph, and after them the rest of the inhabitants of
were all girded with swords and equipped with coats of mail, and the trappings
of war were upon them.
And all the weepers and mourners went
at a distance opposite to the bier, going and weeping and lamenting, and the
rest of the people went after the bier.
And Joseph and his household went
together near the bier barefooted and weeping, and the rest of Joseph’s
servants went around him; each man had his ornaments upon him, and they were
all armed with their weapons of war.
And fifty of Jacob’s servants went in
front of the bier, and they strewed along the road myrrh and aloes, and all
manner of perfume, and all the sons of Jacob that carried the bier walked upon
the perfumery, and the servants of Jacob went before them strewing the perfume
along the road.
And Joseph went up with a heavy camp,
and they did after this manner every day until they reached the land of Canaan,
and they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which was on the other side of
Jordan, and they mourned an exceeding great and heavy mourning in that place.
And all the kings of
this thing and they all went forth, each man from his house, thirty-one kings
all came with their men to mourn and weep over Jacob.
And all these kings beheld Jacob’s
bier, and behold Joseph’s crown was upon it, and they also put their crowns
upon the bier, and encircled it with crowns.
And all these kings made in that
place a great and heavy mourning with the sons of Jacob and
for all the kings of
valor of Jacob and his sons.
And the report reached Esau, saying,
Jacob died in
sons and all
conveying him to the
And Esau heard this thing, and he was
up with his sons and all his people and all his household, a people exceedingly
great, and they came to mourn and weep over Jacob.
And it came to pass, when Esau came
he mourned for his brother Jacob, and all
up and mourned a great mourning with Esau over Jacob in that place
And Joseph and his brethren brought
their father Jacob from that place, and they went to
Jacob in the cave by his fathers.
And they came unto Kireath-arba, to
the cave, and as they came Esau stood with his sons against Joseph and his
brethren as a hindrance in the cave, saying, Jacob shall not be buried therein,
for it belongeth to us and to our father.
And Joseph and his brethren heard the
words of Esau’s sons, and they were exceedingly wroth, and Joseph approached
unto Esau, saying, What is this thing which they have spoken? surely my father
Jacob bought it from thee for great riches after the death of Isaac, now five
and twenty years ago, and also all the land of Canaan he bought from thee and
from thy sons, and thy seed after thee.
And Jacob bought it for his sons and
his seed after him for an inheritance for ever, and why speakest thou these
things this day?
And Esau answered, saying, Thou
speakest falsely and utterest lies, for I sold not anything belonging to me in
all this land, as thou sayest, neither did my brother Jacob buy aught belonging
to me in this land.
And Esau spoke these things in order
to deceive Joseph with his words, for Esau knew that Joseph was not present in
those days when Esau sold all belonging to him in the
And Joseph said unto Esau, Surely my
father inserted these things with thee in the record of purchase, and testified
the record with witnesses, and behold it is with us in
And Esau answered, saying unto him,
Bring the record, all that thou wilt find in the record, so will we do.
And Joseph called unto Naphtali his
brother, and he said, Hasten quickly, stay not, and run I pray thee to Egypt
and bring all the records; the record of the purchase, the sealed record and
the open record, and also all the first records in which all the transactions
of the birth-right are written, fetch thou.
And thou shalt bring them unto us
hither, that we may know from them all the words of Esau and his sons which
they spoke this day.
And Naphtali hearkened to the voice
of Joseph and he hastened and ran to go down to
Naphtali was lighter on foot than any of the stags that were upon the
wilderness, for he would go upon ears of corn without crushing them.
And when Esau saw that Naphtali had
gone to fetch the records, he and his sons increased their resistance against
the cave, and Esau and all his people rose up against Joseph and his brethren
And all the sons of Jacob and the
Esau and his men, and the sons of Esau and his people were smitten before the
sons of Jacob, and the sons of Jacob slew of Esau’s people forty men.
And Chushim the son of Dan, the son
of Jacob, was at that time with Jacob’s sons, but he was about a hundred cubits
distant from the place of battle, for he remained with the children of Jacob’s
sons by Jacob’s bier to guard it.
And Chushim was dumb and deaf, still
he understood the voice of consternation amongst men.
And he asked, saying, Why do you not
bury the dead, and what is this great consternation? and they answered him the
words of Esau and his sons; and he ran to Esau in the midst of the battle, and
he slew Esau with a sword, and he cut off his head, and it sprang to a
distance, and Esau fell amongst the people of the battle.
And when Chushim did this thing the
sons of Jacob prevailed over the sons of Esau, and the sons of Jacob buried
their father Jacob by force in the cave, and the sons of Esau beheld it.
And Jacob was buried in
Abraham had bought from the sons of Heth for the possession of a burial place,
and he was buried in very costly garments.
And no king had such honor paid him
as Joseph paid unto his father at his death, for he buried him with great honor
like unto the burial of kings.
And Joseph and his brethren made a
mourning of seven days for their father.