The Book of Jubilees ENCYCLOPEDIA
also called the Little
Genesis, pseudepigraphal work
(not included in any canon of scripture), most notable for its chronological schema, by which events described in Genesis
on through Exodus 12 are dated by jubilees of 49 years, each of which is composed of seven cycles of seven years. The
institution of a jubilee calendar supposedly would ensure the observance of Jewish religious festivals and holy days on the proper dates and, by setting Jews apart from their Gentile neighbours, would
emphasize the Old Testament picture of Israel as the covenant community of God.
In addition to paraphrasing
and embellishing on Genesis, Jubilees also relates stories explaining the origin of contemporary Jewish laws
and customs. An older (hence, to the Hellenistic mind, more sacred) origin is attributed to the Mosaic Law and many of the
legal precepts in Leviticus by asserting that the patriarchs in Genesis observed laws and festivals that actually came into
existence after the age of the patriarchs.
Jubilees, in its final form, was likely written about 100 BC, though it incorporates much older mythological traditions. Its isolationist religious spirit and its strictness led
the Essene sect of Jews at Qumran in Palestine to quote extensively from it in the Damascus Document,
one of their major works. Jubilees is also closely connected with the Genesis Apocryphon, which also
parallels Genesis and was favoured by the Qumran community. Several fragments of the original Hebrew edition of
Jubilees were found in the Qumran library.
Jubilees is preserved in its entirety only in an Ethiopic translation, which
was derived from a Greek translation made from the Hebrew. Fragments of the Greek and Hebrew texts are also extant.
- SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE BOOK.
The Book of Jubilees is in certain limited aspects the most
important book in this volume for the student of religion. Without it we could of course have inferred from Ezra and Nehemiah,
the Priests' Code, and the later chapters of Zechariah the supreme position that the law had achieved in Judaism, but without
Jubilees we could hardly have imagined such an absolute supremacy as finds expression in this book. This absolute supremacy
of the law carried with it, as we have seen in the General Introduction, the suppression of prophecy -at all events of the
open exercise of the prophetic gifts. And yet these gifts persisted during all the so-called centuries of silence-from Malachi
down to N.T. times, but owing to the fatal incubus of the law these gifts could not find expression save in pseudepigraphic
literature. Thus Jubilees represents the triumph of the movement, which had been at work for the past three centuries or more.
And yet this most triumphant manifesto of legalism contained
within its pages the element that was destined to dispute its supremacy and finally to reduce the law to the wholly secondary
position that alone it could rightly claim. This element of course is apocalyptic, which was the source of the higher theology
in Judaism, and subsequently was the parent of Christianity, wherein apocalyptic ceased to be pseudonymous and became one
The Book of Jubilees was written in Hebrew by a Pharisee
between the year of the accession of Hyrcanus to the high priesthood in 135 and his breach with the Pharisees some years before
his death in 105 B.C. It is the most advanced pre-Christian representative of the midrashic tendency, which has already been
at work in the Old Testament Chronicles. As the Chronicler had rewritten the history of Israel and Judah from the basis of
the Priests' Code, so our author re-edited from the Pharisaic standpoint of his time the history of events from the creation
to the publication, or, according to the author's view, the republication of the law on Sinai. In the course of re-editing
he incorporated a large body of traditional lore, which the midrashic process had put at his disposal, and also not a few
fresh legal enactments that the exigencies of the past had called forth. His work constitutes an enlarged Targum on Genesis
and Exodus, in which difficulties in the biblical narrative are solved, gaps supplied, dogmatically offensive elements removed,
and the genuine spirit of later Judaism infused into the primitive history of the world. His object was to defend Judaism
against the attacks of the hellenistic spirit that had been in the ascendant one generation earlier and was still powerful,
and to prove that the law was of everlasting validity. From our author's contentions and his embittered attacks on the paganisers
and apostates, we may infer that Hellenism had urged that the levitical ordinances of the law were only of transitory significance,
that they had not been observed by the founders of the nation, and that the time had now come for them to be swept away, and
for Israel to take its place in the brotherhood of the nations. Our author regarded all such views as fatal to the very existence
of Jewish religion and nationality. But it is not as such that he assailed them, but on the ground of their falsehood. The
law, he teaches, is of everlasting validity. Though revealed in time it was superior to time. Before it had been made known
in gundry portions to the fathers it had been kept in heaven by the angels, and to its observance henceforward there was no
limit in time or in eternity.
Writing in the palmiest days of the Maccabean dominion,in
the high-priesthood of John Hyrcanus, looked for the immediate advent of the Messianic kingdom. This kingdom was to be ruled
over by a Messiah sprung, not from Levi -that is, from the Maccabean family, as some of his contemporaries expected- but from
Judah. This kingdom would be gradually realized on earth, and the transformation of physical nature would go hand in hand
with the ethical transformation of man till there was a new heaven and a new earth. Thus, finally, all sin and pain would
disappear and men would live to the age of 1,000 years in happiness and peace, and after death enjoy a blessed immortality
in the spirit world.
- VARIOUS TITLES OF THE BOOK.
Our book was known by two distinct titles even in Hebrew.
(a) Jubilees (b) The Little Genesis (c) Apocalypse of Moses and other alleged names of the book.
Jubilees. This appears from Epiphanius (Haer. xxxix. 6) to have been its usual designation. It is found
also in the Syriac Fragment entitled 'Names of the Wives of the Patriarchs according to the Hebrew Book of Jubilees,' first
published by Ceriani, Mon. sacra et profana, ii. 1.9-10, and reprinted by the present writer in his edition of The Ethiopic
Version of the Hebrew Book of Jubilees. This name admirably describes the book, as it divides into jubilee periods of forty-nine
years each the history of the world from the creation to the legislation on Sinai. The writer pursues a perfectly symmetrical
development of the heptadic system. Israel enters Canaan at the close of the fiftieth jubilee, i.e. 2450.
The Little Genesis. The epithet 'little' does not refer to the extent of the book, for it is larger than
the canonical Genesis, but to its character. It deals more fully with details than the biblical work. The Hebrew title was
variously rendered in Greek. 1 [(Gk.) he lepte Genesis (or Lepte Genesis)] as in Epiphanius, Syncellus, Zonaras, Glycas. 2
[(Gk.) he Leptogenesis] in Didymus of Alexandria and in Latin writers, as we may infer from the Decree of Gelasius. 3 [Gk.)
ta lepta geneseos] in Syncellus. 4 [(Gk.) Mikrogenesis] in Jerome, who was acquainted with the Hebrew original.
- The Apocalypse of Moses.
- The Testament of Moses.
- The Book of Adam's Daughters.
- The Life of Adam.
- The Apocalypse of Moses. This title had some currency in the
time of Synceflus (see i. 5, 49). It forms an appropriate designation since it makes Moses the recipient of all the disclosures
in the book.
- The Testament of Moses. This title is found in the Catena of
Nicephorus, i. 175, where it precedes a quotation from x. 21 of our book. It has, however, nothing to do with the Testament
of Moses, which has become universally known under the wrong title -the Assumption of Moses. Ronsch and other scholars formerly
sought to identify Jubilees with this second Testament of Moses, but this identification is shown to be impossible by the
fact that in the Stichometry of Nicephorus 4,300 stichoi are assigned to Jubilees and only 1100 to this Testament of Moses.
On the probability of a Testament of Moses having been in circulation -which was in reality an expansion of Jubilees ii-iii
see my edition of Jubilees, p. xviii.
- The Book of Adam's Daughters. This book is identified with Jubilees
in the Decree of Gelasius, but it probably consisted merely of certain excerpts from Jubilees dealing with the names and histories
of the women mentioned in it. Such a collection, as we have already seen, exists in Syriac, and its Greek prototype was used
by the scribe of the LXX MS. no.135 in Holmes and Parsons' edition.
- The Life of Adam. This title is found in Syncellus i. 7-9. It
seems to have been an enlarged edition of the portion of Jubilees, which dealt with the life of Adam.
THE ETHIOPIC MSS.
There are four Ethiopic MSS., a b c d, the first and fourth
of which belong to the National Library in Paris, the second to the British Museum, and the third to the University Library
at Tubingen. Of these a b (of the fifteenth and sixteenth century respectively) are the most trustworthy, though they cannot
be followed exclusively. In a, furthermore, the readings of the Ethiopic version of Genesis have replaced the original against
bed in iii. 4, 6, 7, 19, 29; iv. 4, 8, &c. For a full description of these MSS. the reader can consult Charles's Ethiopic
Version of the Hebrew Book of Jubilees, pp. xii seqq.
THE ANCIENT VERSIONS-GREEK, ETHIOPIC, LATIN, SYRIAC.
(a) The Greek Version is lost save for some fragments which
survive in Epiphanius [(Gk.) peri Metron kai Stathmon] (ed. Dindorf, vol. iv. 27-8). This fragment, which consists of ii.
2-21, is published with critical notes in Charles's edition of the Ethiopic text. Other fragments of this version are preserved
in Justin Martyr, Origen, Diodorus of Antioch, Isidore of Alexandria, Isidore of Seville, Eutychius, Patriarch of Alexandria,
John of Malala, Syncellus, Cedrenus. Syncellus attributes to the Canonical Genesis statements derived from our text. This
version is the parent of the Ethiopic and Latin Versions.
(b) The Ethiopic Version. This version is most accurate and
trustworthy and indeed as a rule servilely literal. It has, of course, suffered from the corruptions naturally incident to
transmission through MSS. Thus dittographies are frequent and lacunae are of occasional occurrence, but the version is singularly
free from the glosses and corrections of unscrupulous scribes, though the temptation must have been great to bring it into
accord with the Ethiopic version of Genesis. To this source, indeed, we must trace a few perversions of the text: 'my wife'
in iii. 6 instead of 'wife'; xv 12; xvii. 12 ('her bottle' instead of 'the bottle'); xxiv. 19 (where the words 'a well' are
not found in the Latin version of Jubilees, nor in the Mass., Sam., LXX, Syr., and Vulg. of Gen. xxvi. 19). In the above passages
the whole version is influenced, but in a much greater degree has this influence operated on MS. a. Thus in iii. 4, 6, 7,
19, 29, iv. 4, 8, v.3, vi. 9, &c., the readings of the Ethiopic version of Genesis have replaced the original text. In
the case of b there appears to be only one instance of this nature in xv. 15 (see Charles's Text, pp. xii seqq.).
For instances of corruption native to this version, see Charles
on ii. 2, 7, 21, vi. 21, vii. 22, x. 6, 21, xvi. 18, xxiv. 20, 29, xxxi. 2, xxxix. 4, xli. 15, xlv. 4, xlviii. 6.
(c) The Latin Version. This version, of which about one-fourth
has been preserved, was first published by Ceriani in his Monnmenta sacra et profana, 1861, tom. i. fase. i. 15-62. It contains
the following sections: xiii. 10b-21; xv. 20b-31a; xvi. 5b-xvii. 6a; xviii. 10b-xix. 25; xx. 5b-xxi. 10a; xxii. 2-19a; xxiii.
8b-23a; xxiv. 13-xxv. 1a; xxvi. 8b-23a; xxvii. 11b-24a; xxviii. 16b-27a; xxix. 8b-xxxi. 1a; xxxi. 9b-1 8, 29b-32; xxxii. 1-8a,
18b-xxxiii. 9a, 18b-xxxiv. 5a; xxxv. 3b-12a; xxxvi. 20b-xxxvii. 5a; xxxviii. 1b-16a; xxxix. 9-xl. 8a; xli. 6b-18; xlii. 2b-14a;
xlv. 8-xlvi. 1, 12-xlviii. 5; xlix. 7b-22. This version was next edited by Ronsch in 1874, Das Buch der Fubilaen . . . unter
Befugung des revidirten Textes der . . . lateinisehen Fragmente. This work attests enormous industry and great learning, but
is deficient in judgement and critical acumen. Ronsch was of opinion that this Latin version was made in Egypt or its neighbourhood
by a Palestinian Jew about the middle of the fifth century (pp.459-60). In 1895 Charles edited this text afresh in conjunction
with the Ethiopic in the Oxford Anecdota (The Ethiopic Version of the Hebrew Book of Jubilees). To this work and that of Ronsch
above the reader must be referred for a fuller treatment of this subject. Here we may draw attention to the following points.
This version, where it is preserved, is almost of equal value with the Ethiopic. It has, however, suffered more at the hands
of correctors. Thus it has been corrected in conformity with the LXX in xlvi. 14, where it adds 'et Oon' against all other
authorities. The Ethiopic version of Exod. i. 11 might have been expected to bring about this addition in our Ethiopic text,
but it did not. Two similar instances will be found in xvii. 5, xxiv. 20. Again the Latin version seems to have been influenced
by the Vulgate in xxix. 13. xlii. II (canos meos where our Ethiopic text = [(Gk.) mou to geras] as in LXX of Gen. xlii. 38);
and probably also in xlvii. 7, 8, and certainly in xlv. 12, where it reads 'in tota terra' for 'in terra'. Of course there
is the possibility that the Latin has reproduced faithfully the Greek and that the Greek was faulty; or in case it was correct,
that it was the Greek presupposed by our Ethiopic version that was at fault.
Two other passages are deserving of attention, xix. 14 and
xxxix. 13. In the former the Latin version 'et creverunt et iuvenes facti sunt' agrees with the Ethiopic version of Gen. xxv.
27 against the Ethiopic version of Jubilees and all other authorities on Gen. xxv. 27. Here the peculiar reading can be best
explained as having originated in the Greek. In the second passage, the clause 'eorum quae fiebant in carcere' agrees with
the Ethiopic version of Gen. xxxix. 23 against the Ethiopic version of Jubilees and all other authorities on Gen. xxxix. 23.
On the other hand, there is a large array of passages in which the Latin version preserves the true text over against corruptions
or omissions in the Ethiopic version: cf. xvi. 16, xix. 5, 10, 11, xx. 6, 10, xxi. 3, xxii. 3, &c. (see my Text, p. xvi).
(d) The Syriac Version. The evidence as to the existence of
a Syriac is not conclusive. It is based on the fact that a British Museum MS. (Add. 12154, fol. 180) contains a Syriac fragment
entitled, Names of the Wives of the Patriarchs according to the Hebrew Book called Jubilees.' It was first published by Ceriani
in his Monumeitta Sacra, 1861, torn. ii. fasc. i. 9-10, and reprinted by Charles as Appendix III to his Text of Jubilees (p.
THE ETHIOPIC AND LATIN VERSIONS-TRANSLATIONS FROM THE GREEK.
Like all the biblical literature in Ethiopic, Jubilees was
translated into Ethiopic from the Greek. Greek words such as [drus, balanos, lips, schinos, pharaggs, &c., are transliterated
into Ethiopic. Secondly, many passages must be retranslated into Greek before we can discover the source of their corruptions.
And finally, many names are transliterated as they appear in Greek and not in Hebrew.
That the Latin is derived directly from the Greek is no less
obvious. Thus in xxxix. 12 [(Lt.) timoris = (Gk.) deilias], a corruption of douleias; in xxxviii. 13 [(Lt.) honorem = (Gk.)
timen], which should have been rendered by (Lt.) tributum. Another class of mistranslations may be seen in passages where
the Greek article is rendered by the Latin demonstrative as in (Lt.) huius Abrahae xxix. i6, huic Istrael xxxi. 15. Other
evidence pointing in the same direction is to be found in the Greek constructions which have been reproduced in the Latin;
such as xvii. 3 (Lt.) mem or fuit sermones' = (Gk.) hemnesthe tous logous: in xv. 22 (Lt.) consummavit loquens = (Gk.) Sunetelese
lalon: in xxii. 8 (Lt.) 'in omnibus quibus dedisti' = en pasin ois edokas.
THE GREEK-A TRANSLATION FROM THE HEBREW.
The early date of our book -the second century B.C.- and the
fact that it was written in Palestine speak for a Semitic original, and the evidence for such an original is conclusive. But
the question at once arises, was the original written in Hebrew or Aramaic? Certain proper names in the Latin version ending
in -in seem to bespeak an Aramaic original, as Cettin xxiv. 28; Adurin xxxviii. 8,9; Filistin xxiv. 14-16. But since in all
these cases the Ethiopic transliterations end in -n and not in -nit is not improbable that this Aramaising in the Latin version
is due to the translator, who, as Ronsch has concluded on other grounds, was a Palestinian Jew. Again, in the list of the
twelve trees suitable for burning on the altar some are transliterations of Aramaic names. But in a late Hebrew work -written
at the close of the second century B.C.- the popular names of such objects would naturally be used. Moreover, in certain cases
the Hebrew may have already been forgotten, or, when the tree had been lately introduced, been non-existent.
But the arguments for a Hebrew original are many and weighty.
(1) A work which claims to be from the hand of Moses would naturally be written in Hebrew; for Hebrew, according to our author,
was the sacred and national language, xii. 25-6; xliii. 15. (2) The revival of the national spirit is, so far as we know,
accompanied by a revival of the national language. (3) The existing text must be retranslated into Hebrew in order to explain
unintelligible expressions and restore the true text. Thus (Ar.) la 'eleja in xliii. 11 = (Gk.) en emoi; which is a mistranslation
in this context of (Hb.); for (Hb.) here = (Gk.) deomai, 'pray,' as in Gen. xliv. 18. In xlvii. 9 the text = (Lt.) 'domum
(= Hb. ) Faraonis', but the context demands (Lt.) 'filiam (= Hb.) Faraonis',though here the argument is not conclusive, since
(Hb.) might have been corruptly written for (Hb.) which in Aramaic = 'daughter'. Again in xxxvi. 10 (cp. also xxxix. 6) the
text = (Gk.) ouk anabesetai (= ja'arg) (Gk.) eis to biblion tes zoes. But ja'arg must = 'will be recorded'. Now this meaning
is unattested elsewhere in Ethiopic, but the difficulty is solved when we find that it is a Hebrew idiom: see I Chron. xxvii.
24, 2 Chron. xx. 34. (4) Many paronomasiae discover themselves on retranslation into Hebrew, as in iv. 9 there is a play on
the name Enoch, in iv. 15 on Jared, in viii. 8 on Peleg, &c. (5) Many passages are preserved in Rabbinic writings, and
the book has much matter in common with the Testaments xii Patriarchs, 'which was written about the same date in Hebrew. Both
books, in fact, use a chronology peculiar to themselves. (6) Fragments of the original Hebrew text or of the sources used
by its author are to be found in the Book of Noah and the Midrasch Wajjisau in Jellinek's Beth-ha-Midrasch, iii. 155-6, 3-5,
reprinted in Charles's edition of the Ethiopic text on pp. 179-81.
A minute study of the text shows that it attests an independent
form of the Hebrew text of Genesis and the early chapters of Exodus. Thus it agrees with individual authorities such as the
Samaritan or the LXX, or the Syriac, or the Vulgate, or the Targum of Onkelos against all the rest. Or again it agrees with
two or more of these authorities in opposition to the rest, as for instance with the Massoretic and Samaritan against the
LXX, Syriac and Vulgate, or with the Massoretic and Onkelos against the Samaritan, LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate, or with the Massoretic,
Samaritan and Syriac against the LXX or Vulgate. But the reader must here be referred to Charles's Book of Jubilees (pp. xxxiii--xxxix)
for a full classification of these instances. A study of these phenomena proves that our book represents some form of the
Hebrew text midway between the forms presupposed by the LXX and the Syriac; for it agrees more frequently with the LXX, or
with combinations into which the LXX enters, than with any other single authority. Next to the LXX it agrees most often with
the Syriac or with combinations into which the Syriac enters. On the other hand, its independence of the LXX is shown by a
large array of readings, where it has the support of the Samaritan and Massoretic, or of these with various combinations of
the Syriac, Vulgate and Onkelos. From these and like considerations we may conclude that the textual evidence points to the
composition of our book at some period between 250 B.C. and 100 A.D. and at a time nearer the earlier date than the latter.
8. THE VALUE OF THE BOOK OF JUBILEES IN THE CRITICISM OF THE
MASSORETIC TEXT OF THE BOOK OF GENESIS.
From a study of the facts which are referred to in the preceding
Section it will be clear that before and after the Christian era the Hebrew text did not possess any hard and fast tradition.
It will further be obvious that the Massoretic form of this text, which has so long been generally as conservative of the
most ancient tradition and as therefore final, is after all only one of many phases through which the text passed in the process
of over 1,000 years, ie. 400 B.C. till A.D. 600, or thereabouts.
As we pursue the examination of the materials just mentioned
we shall see grounds for regarding the Massoretic text as the result partly of conscious recension and partly of unconscious
change extending over many centuries. How this process affected the text in the centuries immediately preceding and subsequent
to the Christian era, we have some means of determining in the Hebrew-Samaritan text which, however much it may have been
tampered with on religious or polemical grounds, still preserves in many cases the older reading, even as it preserves the
older of the alphabet. Next we have the LXX of the Pentateuch, to which we may assign the date 200 B.C.; next the Book of
Jubilees just before the Christian era; the Syriac Pentateuch before A.D. 100; the Vulgate of the fourth century; the Targums
of Onkelos and Ps.-Jon. in their present form A.D. 300-600.
We have above remarked that the evidence of 6 shows that the
Massoretic text is only one of the phases through which the Hebrew text has passed; and if we consider afresh the materials
of evidence suggested in that Section in connexion with their dates, and given in some fullness in the Introductions to Charles's
Text and Commentary, we shall discover that in some respects it is one of the latest phases of the Hebrew Pentateuch that
has been stereotyped by Jewish scholars in the Massoretic text.
This conclusion will tally perfectly with the tradition that
all existing Massoretic MSS. are derived in the main from one archetype, i.e. the Hebrew Codex left behind him by Ben Asher,
who lived in the tenth century, and whose family had lived at Tiberias in the eighth.
We shall now proceed to give a list of readings in the Massoretic
text which should be corrected into accord with the readings attested by such great authorities as the Sam., LXX, Jub., Syr.,
The following list was published in Charles's Ethiopic Version
of the Hebrew Book of Jubilees in 1895. More than two-thirds of the emendations of the Book of Genesis here suggested were
subsequently accepted independently, on the evidence of the Sam., LXX, Syr., Vulg., without a knowledge of Jubilees, by C.J.
Ball in his edition of the Hebrew Text of Genesis, 1896, by Kittel in his edition of the Hebrew Text of Genesis, 1905, and
more than half in the recent Commentary of Gunkel.
[What follows contains many phrases written in Hebrew. At
the time of scanning there was not an accessible means to accurately reproduce the Hebrew script. If this information is desired
please see Mr. Charles book.]
DATE OF (a) THE ORIGINAL TEXT AND (b) OF THE VERSIONS.
(a) Jubilees was written between 153 B.C. and the year of
Hyrcanus' breach with the Pharisees. (1) It was written during the pontificate of the Maccabean family, and not earlier than
155 B.C., when this office was assumed by Jonathan the Maccabee. For in xxxii. 1, Levi is called a 'priest of the Most High
God.' Now the only Jewish high-priests who bore this title were the Maccabean, who appear to have assumed it as reviving the
order of Melchizedek when they displaced the Zadokite order of Aaron. Despite the objections of the Pharisees, it was used
by the Maccabean princes down to Hyrcanus II (Jos. Ant. xvi. 6.2). (2) It was written before 96 B.C.; for since our author
was of the strictest sect a Pharisee and at the same time an upholder of the Maccabean pontificate, Jubilees cannot have been
written later than 96, when the Pharisees and Alexander Jannaeus were openly engaged in mortal strife. (3) It was written
before the public breach between Hyrcanus and the Pharisees when Hyrcanus joined the Sadducean party. As Hyrcanus died in
105, our book was written between 153 and 105.
But it is possible to define these limits more closely. The
book presupposes as its historical background the most flourishing period of the Maccabean hegemony -such as that under Simon
and Hyrcanus. The conquest of Edom, which was achieved by the latter, is referred to in xxxviii. 14. Again our text reflects
accurately the intense hatred of Judah towards the Philistines in the second century B.C. It declares that they will fall
into the hands of the righteous nation, and we learn from I Macc. and Josephus that Ashdod and Gaza were destroyed by Hyrcanus
and Alexander Jannaeus respectively. But it is in the destruction of Samaria, which is adumbrated in the destruction of Shechem,
xxx. 4-6, that we are to look for the true terminus a quo. Now all accounts agree in representing the destruction of Samaria
as effected by Hyrcanus about four years before his death. Hence we conclude that Jubilees was written between 109 and 105
Many other phenomena point to the second-century origin of
our book, which are given in Charles's edition, pp. lviii-lxvi. Amongst these we might mention the currency of older and severer
forms of the halacha than prevailed in the rabbinical schools, or were registered in the Mishnah. The severe halacha regarding
the sabbath in 1.8, 12, were indubitably in force in the second century B.C., if not earlier, but were afterwards mitigated
by the Mishnah and later Judaism. Again the strict halacha in xv. 14 regarding circumcision on the eighth day was a current,
probably the current, view in the second century B.C. and earlier, since it has the support of the Samaritan text and the
LXX. This strict law was subsequently relaxed in the Mishnah. In xxxii. 15 the severe law of tithing found in Lev. xxvii.
15 is enforced, but rabbinic tradition sought to weaken the statement. As regards the halacha laid down in iii. 31 regarding
the duty of covering one's shame, it is highly probable that such a halacha did exist in the second century B.C., when Judaism
was protesting against the exposure of the person in the Greek games. See also iii. 8-14 notes and xx. 4 note.
Other cases of strict rules afterwards relaxed are the limitation
of trees for use with burnt offerings (see xxi. 12-15 notes), the restriction of the eating of the passover to the court of
the Lords house (see xlix. 20 note), the close adherence to the exacting demand of Lev. xix. 24 that the fourth year's fruit
should be holy (see vii. 36 notes), though here we have a variant reading. Note that the rest of the firstfruits belong to
the priests, who are to eat them 'before the altar.' On the other hand, the thank-offerings in xxi. 8-10 do not belong to
the priest. The computation of the Feast of Weeks is different from the later prevalent Pharisaic reckoning (see xv. 1 note;
xvi. 13, xliv. 4-5), while the account of the Feast of Tabernacles in xvi. 21-31 is peculiar to Jubilees.
Finally, we might draw attention to the fact that the Pharisaic
regulation about pouring water on the altar (Jer. Sukk. iv. 6; Sukk. 44a) at the feast of tabernacles appears to have been
unknown to him. We know that the attempt of the Pharisees to enforce its adoption on Alexander Jannaeus resulted in a massacre
of the former. Attention might also be drawn to the fact that the Priests and Levites still numbered in their ranks, as in
the days of the author of Chronicles, the masters of the schools and the men of learning, and that these positions were not
filled as in the days of Shammai and Hillel by men drawn from the laity. This inference is to be deduced from the fact that
the Levites are represented as the guardians of the sacred books and of the secret lore transmitted from the worthies of old
time (x. 4, xlv. 16).
(b) Date of the Ethiopic and Latin Versions. There is no evidence
for determining the exact date of the Ethiopic version, but since it was practically regarded as a canonical book it was probably
made in the sixth century. Ronsch, as we have already pointed out in 4, gives some evidence for regarding the Latin version
as made in the fifth century.
JUBILEES FROM ONE AUTHOR BUT BASED ON EASTERN BOOKS AND TRADITIONS.
Our book is the work of one author, but is largely based on
earlier books and traditions. The narrative of Genesis forms of course the bulk of the book, but much that is characteristic
in it is due to his use of many pseudepigraphic and ancient traditions. Amongst the former might be mentioned the Book of
Noah, from which in a modified form he borrows vii. 20-39, x. 1-15. In vii. 26-39 he reproduces his source so faithfully that
he leaves the persons unchanged, and forgets to adapt this fragment to its new context. Similarly our author lays the Book
of Enoch under contribution, and is of great value in this respect in determining the dates of the various sections of this
book. See Introd. to I Book of Enoch, in loc. For other authorities and traditions used by our author see Charles's edition,
JUBILEES IS A PRODUCT OF THE MIDRASHIC TENDENCY WHICH HAD BEEN ALREADY AT WORK IN THE O.T. BOOKS OF CHRONICLES.
The Chronicler rewrote with an object the earlier history
of Israel and Judah already recounted in Samuel and Kings. His object was to represent David and his pious successors as observing
all the prescripts of the law according to the Priests' Code. In the course of this process all facts that did not square
with the Chronicler's presuppositions were either omitted or transformed. Now the author of Jubilees sought to do for Genesis
what the Chronicler had done for Samuel and Kings, and so he rewrote it in such a way as to show that the law was rigorously
observed even by the Patriarchs. The author represents his book to be as a whole a revelation of God to Moses, forming a supplement
to and an interpretation of the Pentateuch, which he designates 'the first law' (vi. 22). This revelation was in part a secret
republication of the traditions handed down from father to son in antediluvian and subsequent times. From the time of Moses
onwards it was preserved in the hands of the priesthood, till the time came for its being made known.
Our author's procedure is of course in direct antagonism with
the presuppositions of the Priests' Code in Genesis, for according to this code 'Noah may build no altar, Abraham offer no
sacrifice, Jacob erect no sacred pillar. No offering is recorded till Aaron and his sons are ready' (Carpenter, The Hexateuch,
i. 124). This fact seems to emphasize in the strongest manner how freely our author reinterpreted his authorities for the
past. But he was only using to the full a right that had been exercised for nearly four centuries already in regard to Prophecy
and for four or thereabouts in regard to the law.
OBJECT OF JUBILEES -THE DEFENCE AND EXPOSITION OF JUDAISM FROM THE PHARISAIC STANDPOINT OF THE SECOND
The object of our author was to defend Judaism against the
disintegrating effects of Hellenism, and this he did (a) by glorifying the law as an eternal ordinance and representing the
patriarchs as models of piety; (b) by glorifying Israel and insisting on its separation from the Gentiles; and (e) by denouncing
the Gentiles and particularly Israel's national enemies. In this last respect Judaism regarded its own attitude to the Gentiles
as not only justifiable but also just, because it was a reflection of the divine.
But on (a) it is to be observed further that to our author
the law, as a whole, was the realization in time of what was in a sense timeless and eternal. It was observed not only on
earth by Israel but in heaven. Parts of the law might have only a time reference, to Israel on earth, but in the privileges
of circumcision and the Sabbath, as its highest and everlasting expression, the highest orders of archangels in heaven shared
with Israel (ii. i8, 19, 21; xv. 26-28). The law, therefore, was supreme, and could admit of no assessor in the form of Prophecy.
There was no longer any prophet because the law had made the free exercise of his gift an offence against itself and God.
So far, therefore, as Prophecy existed, it could exist only under the guise of pseudonymity. The seer, who had like Daniel
and others a message for his time, could only gain a hearing by issuing it under the name of some ancient worthy.
THE AUTHOR -A PHARISEE WHO RECOGNIZED THE MACCABEAN PONTIFICATE AND WAS PROBABLY A PRIEST.
Since our author was an upholder of the everlasting validity
of the law, and held the strictest views on circumcision, the Sabbath, and the duty of complete separation from the Gentiles,
since he believed in angels and demons and a blessed immortality, he was unquestionably a Pharisee of the strictest sect.
In the next place, he was a supporter of the Maccabean pontificate. He glorifies Levi's successors as high-priests and civil
rulers, and applies to them the title priests of the Most High God '-the title assumed by the Maccabean princes (xxxii. 1).
He was not, however, so thoroughgoing an admirer of this dynasty as the authors of Test. Lev. xviii. or Ps. cx, who expected
the Messiah to come forth from the Maccabean family. Finally, that our author was a priest might reasonably be inferred from
the exaltation of Levi over Judah (xxxi-xxxii), and from the statement in xlv. i6 that the secret traditions, which our author
claims to publish, were kept in the hands of Levi's descendants.
INFLUENCE ON LATER LITERATURE.
On the influence of Jubilees on I Enoch i-v, xci-civ, Wisdom
(?), 4 Ezra, Chronicles of Jerachmeel, Midrash Tadshe, Book of Jasher, the Samaritan Chronicle, on Patristic and other writings,
and on the New Testament writers, see Charles's edition, pp. lxxiii-lxxxvi.
THEOLOGY. SOME OF OUR AUTHOR'S VIEWS.
Freedom and determinism. The author of Jubilees is a true
Pharisee in that he combines belief in Divine omnipotence and providence with the belief in human freedom and responsibility.
He would have adopted heartily the statement of the Pss. Sol. ix. 7 (written some sixty years or more later) (Gk.) ta erga
emon en ekloge kai exousia tes psuches emon, tou poiesai dikaiosunen kai adikian en ergois cheiron emon: v. 6 anthropos kai
e meris autou para soi en stathmo ou prosthesei tou pleonasai para to krima sou, o theos. Thus the path in which a man should
walk is ordained for him and the judgement of all men predetermined on the heavenly tablets: 'And the judgment of all is ordained
and written on the heavenly tablets in righteousness -even the judgment of all who depart from the path which is ordained
for them to walk in' (v.13). This idea of an absolute determinism underlies many conceptions of the heavenly tablets (see
Charles's edition, iii. 10 note). On the other hand, man's freedom and responsibility are fully recognized: 'If they walk
not therein, judgment is written down for every creature' (v. 13): 'Beware lest thou walk in their ways, And tread in their
paths, And sin a sin unto death before the Most High God. Else He will give thee back into the hand of thy transgression.'
Even when a man has sinned deeply he can repent and be forgiven (xli. 24 seq.), but the human will needs the strengthening
of a moral dynamic: 'May the Most High God . . . strengthen thee to do His will' (xxi. 25, xxii. 10).
The Fall. The effects of the Fall were limited to Adam and
the animal creation. Adam was driven from the garden (iii. 17 seqq.) and the animal creation was robbed of the power of speech
(iii. 28). But the subsequent depravity of the human race is not traced to the Fall but to the seduction of the daughters
of men by the angels, who had been sent down to instruct men (v.1-4), and to the solicitations of demonic spirits (vii. 27).
The evil engendered by the former was brought to an end by the destruction of all the descendants of the angels and of their
victims by the Deluge, but the incitement to sin on the part of the demons was to last to the final judgement (vii. 27, x.
1-15, xi. 4 seq., xii. 20). This last view appears in I Enoch and the N.T.
The Law. The law was of eternal validity. It was not the expression
of the religious consciousness of one or of several ages, but the revelation in time of what was valid from the beginning
and unto all eternity. The various enactments of the law moral and ritual, were written on the heavenly tablets (iii. 31,
vi. 17, &c.) and revealed to man through the mediation of angels (i. 27). This conception of the law, as I have already
pointed out, made prophecy impossible unless under the guise of pseudonymity. Since the law was the ultimate and complete
expression of absolute truth, there was no room for any further revelation: much less could any such revelation, were it conceivable,
supersede a single jot or tittle of the law as already revealed. The ideal of the faithful Jew was to be realized in the fulfilment
of the moral and ritual precepts of this law: the latter were of no less importance than the former. Though this view of morality
tends to be mainly external, our author strikes a deeper note when he declares that, when Israel turned to God with their
whole heart, He would circumcise the foreskin of their heart and create a right spirit within them and cleanse them, so that
they would not turn away from Him for ever (i. 23). Our author specially emphasizes certain elements of the law such as circumcision
(xvi. 14, xv. 26, 29), the Sabbath (ii. 18 seq., 31 seq.), eating of blood (vi. 14), tithing of the tithe (xxxii. 10), Feast
of Tabernacles (xvi. 29), Feast of Weeks (vi. 17), the absolute prohibition of mixed marriages (xx. 4, xxii. 20, xxv. 1-10).
In connexion with many of these he enunciates halacha which belong to an earlier date than those in the Mishnah, but which
were either modified or abrogated by later authorities.
The Messiah. Although our author is an upholder of the Maccabean
dynasty he still clings like the writer of I Enoch lxxxiii-xc to the hope of a Messiah sprung from Judah. He makes, however,
only one reference to this Messiah, and no role of any importance is assigned to him (see Charles's edition, xxxi. 18 n.).
The Messianic expectation showed no vigorous life throughout this century till it was identified with the Maccabean family.
If we are right in regarding the Messianic kingdom as of temporary duration, this is the first instance in which the Messiah
is associated with a temporary Messianic kingdom.
The Messianic kingdom. According to our author (i. 29, xxiii.
30) this kingdom was to be brought about gradually by the progressive spiritual development of man and a corresponding transformation
of nature. Its members were to attain to the full limit of 1,000 years in happiness and peace. During its continuance the
powers of evil were to be restrained (xxiii. 29). The last judgement was apparently to take place at its close (xxiii. 30).
This view was possibly derived from Mazdeism.
The writer of Jubilees, we can hardly doubt, thought that
the era of the Messianic kingdom had already set in. Such an expectation was often cherished in the prosperous days of the
Maccabees. Thus it was entertained by the writer of I Enoch lxxxiii-xc in the days of Judas before 161 B.C. Whether Jonathan
was looked upon as the divine agent for introducing the kingdom we cannot say, but as to Simon being regarded in this light
there is no doubt. Indeed, his contemporaries came to regard him as the Messiah himself, as we see from Psalm cx, or Hyrcanus
in the noble Messianic hymn in Test. Levi 18. The tame effus1on in 1 Macc. xiv. 8-15 is a relic of such literature, which
was emasculated by its Sadducean editor. Simon was succeeded by John Hyrcanus in 135 B.C. and this great prince seemed to
his countrymen to realize the expectations of the past; for according to a contemporary writer (Test. Levi 8) he embraced
in his own person the triple office of prophet, priest, and civil ruler (xxxi. i5), while according to the Test. Reuben 6
he was to 'die on behalf of Israel in wars seen and unseen'. In both these passages he seems to be accorded the Messianic
office, but not so in our author, as we have seen above. Hyrcanus is only to introduce the Messianic kingdom, over which the
Messiah sprung from Judah is to rule.
Priesthood of Melchizedek. That there was originally an account
of Melchizedek in our text we have shown in the note on xiii. 2,5, and, that the Maccabean high-priests deliberately adopted
the title applied to him in Gen. xiv, we have pointed out in the note on xxxii. I. It would be interesting to inquire how
far the writer of Hebrews was indebted to the history of the great Maccabean king-priests for the idea of the Melchizedekian
priesthood of which he has made so fruitful a use in chap. vii as applied to our Lord.
The Future Life. In our text all hope of a resurrection of
the body is abandoned. The souls of the righteous will enjoy a blessed immortality after death (xxiii. 31). This is the earliest
attested instance of this expectation in the last two centuries B.C. It is next found in Enoch xci-civ.
The Jewish Calendar. For our author's peculiar views see Charles's
edition 18 and the notes on vi. 29-30, 32, xv. I.
Angelology. We shall confine our attention here to notable
parallels between our author and the New Testament. Besides the angels of the presence and the angels of sanctification there
are the angels who are set over natural phenomena (ii. 2). These angels are inferior to the former. They do not observe the
Sabbath as the higher orders; for they are necessarily always engaged in their duties (ii. 18). It is the higher orders that
are generally referred to in the New Testament but the angels over natural phenomena are referred to in Revelation: angels
of the winds in vii. 1, 2, the angel of fire in xiv. 18, the angel of the waters in xvi. 5 (cf. Jub. ii. 2). Again, the guardian
angels of individuals, which the New Testament refers to in Matt. xviii. 10 (Acts xii. 15), are mentioned, for the first time
in Jubilees xxxv. 17. On the angelology of our author see Charles's edition.
Demonology. The demonology of our author reappears for the
most part in the New Testament:
(a) The angels which kept not their first estate, Jude 6 ;
2 Peter ii. 4, are the angelic watchers who, though sent down to instruct mankind (Jub. iv. 15), fell from lusting after the
daughters of men. Their fall and punishment are recorded in Jub. iv. 22, v.1-9.
(b) The demons are the spirits which went forth from the souls
of the giants who were the children of the fallen angels, Jub. v. 7, 9. These demons attacked men and ruled over them (x.
3, 6). Their purpose is to corrupt and lead astray and destroy the wicked (x. 8). They are subject to the prince Mastema (x.
9), or Satan. Men sacrifice to them as gods (xxii. 17). They are to pursue their work of moral ruin till the judgement of
Mastema (x. 8) or the setting up of the Messianic kingdom, when Satan will be no longer able to injure mankind (xxiii. 29).
So in the New Testament, the demons are disembodied spirits
(Matt. xii. 43-5; Luke xi. 24-6). Their chief is Satan (Mark iii. 22). They are treated as divinities of the heathen (I Cor.
x. 20). They are not to be punished till the final judgement (Matt. viii. 29). On the advent of the Millennium Satan will
be bound (Rev. xx. 2-3).
Judgement. The doctrine of retribution is strongly enforced
by our author. It is to be individual and national in this world and in the next. As regards the individual the law of exact
retribution is according to our author not merely an enactment of human justice -the ancient lox talionis, eye for eye, tooth
for tooth; it is observed by God in His government of the world. The penalty follows in the line of the sin. This view is
enforced in 2 Macc. v. 10, where it is said of Jason, that, as he robbed multitudes of the rites of sepulture, so he himself
was deprived of them in turn, and in xv. 32 seq. it is recounted of Nicanor that he was punished in those members with which
he had sinned. So also in our text in reference to Cain iv. 31 seq. and the Egyptians xlviii. 14. Taken crassly and mechanically
the above law is without foundation, but spiritually conceived it represented the profound truth of the kinship of the penalty
to the sin enunciated repeatedly in the New Testament: 'Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap' (Gal. vi.;); 'he that
doeth wrong shall receive again the wrong that he hath done' (Col. iii. 25, &c.). Again in certain cases the punishment
was to follow instantaneously on the transgression (xxxvii. 17).
The final judgement was to take place at the close of the
Messianic kingdom (xxiii. 30). This judgement embraces the human and superhuman worlds (v. 10 seq., 14). At this judgement
there will be no respect of persons, but all will be judged according to their opportunities and abilities (v. 15 seq.). From
the standpoint of our author there could be no hope for the Gentiles.
(a) Greek Version: see above, 4 (a). Ethiopic Version: this
text was first edited by Dillmann from two MSS. cd in 1859, and by R. H. Charles from four MSS. abcd. The Ethiopic Version
of the Hebrew Book of Jubilees with the Hebrew, Syriac, Greek, and Latin Fragments, Oxford, 1895. Latin Version: see above,
(b) Translations. Dillrnann, Das Buch der Jubilaen . . . aus
dem Aethiopischen ubersetzt (Ewald's Jahrbucher d. bibl. Wissensch., 1850-1, ii. 230-56; iii. 1-96). This translation is based
on only one MS. Schodde, The Book of Jubilees, translated from the Ethiopic ('Bibliotheca Sacra,' 1885-7): Charles, The Book
of Jubilees, translated from a text based on two hitherto uncollated Ethiopic MSS. (Jewish Quarterly Review, 1893, v. 703-8;
1894, vi. 184-217, 710-45; 1895, vii. 297-328): Littmann, Das Buch der Jubilaen (Kantzsch's Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen
des A. T., 1900, ii. 31-119). This translation is based on Charles's text.
(c) Commentaries. Charles, The Book ofjubilees, 1902. Ronsch
published a Commentary on the Latin Version. See above, 4.
(d) Critical Inquiries. Dillmann, 'Pseudepigraphen des A.
T.,' Herzog's R. E.2, xii. 364-5; 'Beitrage aus dem Buche der Jubilaen zur Kritik des Pentateuch-Textes' (Sitzungsberichte
der kgl. preussischen Akad., 1883); Beer, Das Buch der Jubilaen, 1856; Singer, Das Buck der Jubilaen, 1898; Bohn, 'Die Pedeutung
des Buches der Jubilaen' (Theol. Stud. u. Kritiken, 1900, 167-84). For a full bibliography see Charles's Commentary or Schurer.
THE BOOK OF JUBILEES
[Notes and dates added by Mr. Charles will not be given
due to length and difficulty in scanning and editing. If this information is desired, please see his book.]