Jubilees as Parabiblical Literature: Language about Authoritative Writing

ET adapted from the online R.H.Charles text (compared with Wintermute's version in Charlesworth, and VanderKam's edition with translation in the Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium series).


That the author/compiler of Jubilees, "Moses," thinks his book has special importance in God's plan is clear from the opening section in which the Lord commands Moses to write the revealed message for errant posterity that ultimately returns to these truths (e.g. 1.5).\1/ While the function of the book is not clearly defined -- there is no command that this book be read to the people, for example -- the specific teachings contained in it are to be enforced (e.g. sabbath 2.26-33, 50.6; other calendar days 6.22; marriage 30.12; incest 33.13; etc.). Moses is commanded to produce a mirror that reflects the heavenly tablets (e.g. 23.32) just as his predecessors Enoch (4.17), Noah (10.13), and Abraham (12.26), Jacob (32.21ff) and Levi (45.16) had transmitted books of instruction. The divine source of the material is reaffirmed at the end (50.13). Jubilees seems to make a strong claim to authoritative "scriptural" status, among similar books and traditions that reflect the information on the heavenly tablets.


\1/ Further on the problem of authorial attribution, see James VanderKam, "The Putative Author of the Book of Jubilees," JSS 26 (1981) 209-217. In his note to 1.27 in the translation, VanderKam writes: "the several statements in Jubilees about authorship of the book offer conflicting information. One set of passages (1.5, 7, 26; 2.1; 23.32, 33.18) presents Moses as the author, while another (1.27; 30.12, 21; 50.6, 13) credits and angel of the presence (for the title, see Isa 63.9) with the same function." He adds that some MSS have at 1.27 "An angel of the presence said to Moses 'Write.'" Note that passages such as 30.12 and 21 as well as 50.6 and 13 could also be interpreted as words of the Lord, rather than of the angel (which is not explicitly mentioned apart from 1.27-2.1.


The author/compiler of Jubilees as we have it knows of writings, especially those linked (directly or indirectly) to the heavenly tablets. Are all of the book's references/allusions to writings consistent with that category? For recent treatments of this subject, see Florentino Garcia Martinez, "The Heavenly Tablets in the Book of Jubilees," in Studies in the Book of Jubilees (eds. M. Albani, J. Frey, A. Lange; Mohr Siebeck 1997) 243-260, and and Hindy Najman, "Interpretation as Primordial Writing: Jubilees and its Authority Conferring Strategies," Journal for the Study of Judaism 30 (1999) 379-410.


Enoch is the first earthborn being (presumably that excludes angelic beings) to develop writing (4.17), which he used especially to communicate calendric information and a record of what would take place (revealed to him through a vision) by leaving a written record for public access (4.18-19). After his removal from normal life he continues to write in Eden (4.23) , but now he writescourt records judging human wickedness. The flood does not coverEden (according to the oldest Ge'ez text), and Enoch's connection with the mountain there in the East presumably serves to preserve his records, although it is not clear how subsequent humankind obtains them.


How does this scribal Enoch material relate to the primordial heavenly tablets tradition, or to books apparently transmitted patrilineally through Noah (6.35, 21.10; see also 10.13), Abra(ha)m (12.27, 21.10), Jacob (45.15, see also 32.21ff), and Levi (45.15); or to the later tablets given to Moses on Sinai?The tablets contain various laws and maxims, as the following passages show.  The tablets associated with Moses are described variously as written by God (1.1, 1.26 var, 50.6), or by Moses on God's command (1.5, 1.26 var. 2.1 [creation account]),  or by the angel of the presence (1.27) for transmission to future generations proving that God is righteous and faithful to his covenant (e.g. 1.6 and passim). But what sort of materials did the author/compiler of Jubilees have available for his persentation? How is the reference to "the first law" written by God (6.22 in God's address to Noah; see also 6.35) to be understood?


SOME KEY PASSAGES [VanderKam 1989 translation in brackets, selectively]: 


0.1 -- THIS is the history of [These are the words regarding] the division[s] of the days [times]of the law and of the testimony, of the events of the years, of their (year) [of the] weeks, of their Jubilees throughout all the years of the world [eternity], as the Lord [he]  spoke [related (them)] to Moses on Mount Sinai when he went up to receive the tables of [stone tablets --] the law and of [om] the commandment[s], according to the voice of God [-- on the Lord's orders] as he said to [had told] him, 'Go up [that he should come up] to the top [summit] of the Mount[ain].'

[NOTE: The connection of "testimony" and related words (e.g. "witness" and even "covenant") to written material seems clear in most such references, presumably alluding to something like court records to be consulted in a trial situation.]  


1.1ff -- God spoke [the Lord said] to Moses, saying [om]: 'Come up to Me on the Mount[ain], and I will give you two tables of stone [the two stone tablets] of the law and of the commandment[s], which I have written, that you may teach them.'


[NOTE: Jubilees gives varying descriptions of exactly who does the writing (God, Moses, a designated "angel of the presence") which probably is influenced by the various traditions that can also be glimpsed in the Exodus material (God writes, Moses breaks, Moses writes) and elsewhere (angelic involvement).]

[1.2] And [So] Moses went up into [om] the mount[ain] of God [the Lord], and [om] the glory of the Lord abode [took up residence] on Mount Sinai, and a cloud overshadowed it [covered it for] six days. [3] And He called to [When he summoned] Moses [into the cloud] on the seventh day out of the midst of the cloud [om7], and the appearance of [he saw] the glory of the Lord was [om] like a flaming fire [fire blazing] on the top [summit] of the mount[ain]. [4] And [om] Moses was [remained] on the Mount[ain for] forty days and forty nights, and God taught [while the Lord showed] him the earlier [what (had happened) beforehand] and the later history of [as well as what was to come. He related to him] the division of all the days [times -- both] of the law and of the testimony. [1.5] And He said: 'Incline your heart to every word which I shall speak to you on this mount, and write them in a book in order that their generations may see how I have not forsaken them for all the evil which they have wrought in transgressing the covenant which I establish between Me and you for their generations this day on Mount Sinai. [6] And thus it will come to pass when all these things come upon them, that they will recognise that I am more righteous than they in all their judgments and in all their actions, and they will recognise that I have been truly with them. [7] And do you write for yourself all these words which I declare unto you this day, for I know their rebellion and their stiff neck, before I bring them into the land of which I swore to their fathers, to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob, saying: ' To your seed will I give a land flowing with milk and honey. [8] And they will eat and be satisfied, and they will turn to strange gods, to (gods) which cannot deliver them from any of their tribulation: and this witness shall be heard for a witness against them. [9] For they will forget all My commandments, (even) all that I command them, and they will walk after the Gentiles, and after their uncleanness, and after their shame, and will serve their gods, and these will prove unto them an offence and a tribulation and an affliction and a snare. [10] And many will perish and they will be taken captive, and will fall into the hands of the enemy, because they have forsaken My ordinances and My commandments, and the festivals of My covenant, and My sabbaths, and My holy place which I have hallowed for Myself in their midst, and My tabernacle, and My sanctuary, which I have hallowed for Myself in the midst of the land, that I should set my name upon it, and that it should dwell (there). ... [13b] I will scatter them among the Gentiles. [14] And they will forget all My law and all My commandments and all My judgments, and will go astray as to new moons, and sabbaths, and festivals, and jubilees, and ordinances. [15] And after this they will turn to Me from amongst the Gentiles with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their strength, and I will gather them from among all the Gentiles, and they will seek me, so that I shall be found of them, when they seek me with all their heart and with all their soul. ...


1.26ff -- And do [Now] you write down for yourself [om3] [[variant: I will write]] all these words which I declare unto [will tell] you on this mountain, the [what is] first and the [what is] last, which shall [and what is to] come to pass in [om2 during] all the divisions of the [om] days [time which are] in the law and [which are] in the testimony and in the weeks and the [of their] jubilees unto [until] eternity, until [the time when] I descend and dwell [live] with them throughout [all the ages of] eternity.'

[NOTE: The textual tradition in Ge'ez is unsure about who does the writing at this point, although no variants are reported for the preceding references to Moses writing.]

[1.27] And [Then] He said to the [an] angel of the presence: Write for Moses from the beginning of creation 'till My sanctuary has been built among them for all eternity. [28] And the Lord will appear to the eyes of all, and all shall know that I am the God of Israel and the Father of all the children of Jacob, and King on Mount Zion for all eternity. And Zion and Jerusalem shall be holy.'

[NOTE: Elsewhere in Jubilees, "angels of the presence" (plural) are mentioned as a sub-category of angelic beings. Whether the author/compiler imagines all subsequent speaking in the divine voice to be by this designated angel or directly by God is not clear from the narrative (see also note 1 above).]

[1.29] And the angel of the presence who went before the camp of Israel took the tables of the divisions of the years -- from the time of the creation -- of the law and of the testimony of the weeks of the jubilees, according to the individual years, according to all the number of the jubilees [according, to the individual years], from the day of the [new] creation when the heavens and the earth shall be renewed and all their creation according to the powers of the heaven, and according to all the creation of the earth, until the sanctuary of the Lord shall be made in Jerusalem on Mount Zion, and all the luminaries be renewed for healing and for peace and for blessing for all the elect of Israel, and that thus it may be from that day and unto all the days of the earth.


2.1 -- And the angel of the presence spoke to Moses according to the word of the Lord, saying: Write the complete history of the creation, how in six days the Lord God finished all His works and all that He created, and kept Sabbath on the seventh day and hallowed it for all ages, and appointed it as a sign for all His works.


2.20 -- '... I have chosen the seed of Jacob from among all that I have seen, and have written him down as My first-born son, and have sanctified him to Myself for ever and ever; and I will teach them the Sabbath day, that they may keep Sabbath thereon from all work.'


2.24 -- And to this [Jacob and his seed?] it was granted that they should always be the blessed and holy ones of the first testimony and law, even as He had sanctified and blessed the Sabbath day on the seventh day.

[NOTE: on the idea of the "first" law, see the comments below to 6.22. Probably the use of "first and last" in 1.26 has a different sense (from the beginning to the end -- see the context).]


2.33 -- This law and testimony was given to the children of Israel as a law for ever unto their generations.


3.10f -- the commandment is written on the heavenly tablets in regard to her that gives birth: 'if she bears a male, she shall remain in her uncleanness seven days according to the first week of days, and thirty and three days shall she remain in the blood of her purifying, and she shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor enter into the sanctuary, until she accomplishes these days which (are enjoined) in the case of a male child. But in the case of a female child she shall remain in her uncleanness two weeks of days, according to the first two weeks, and sixty-six days in the blood of her purification, and they will be in all eighty days.' Therefore, there was ordained regarding her who bears a male or a female child the statute of those days that she should touch no hallowed thing, nor enter into the sanctuary until these days for the male or female child are accomplished. This is the law and testimony which was written down for Israel, in order that they should observe (it) all the days.


3.31 -- it is prescribed on the heavenly tablets as touching all those who know the judgment of the law, that they should cover their shame, and should not uncover themselves as the Gentiles uncover themselves.


4.5 -- And on this account it is written on the heavenly tables, 'Cursed is he who smites his neighbour treacherously, and let all who have seen and heard say, So be it; and the man who has seen and not declared (it), let him be accursed as the other.'


4.17ff -- Enoch. And [om] he was the first among men that are [of mankind who were] born on earth who learnt [learned (the art of)] writing and [om] knowledge [instruction] and wisdom and who wrote down [in a a book] the signs of heaven [the sky] according to the order [in accord with the fixed pattern] of their months in a book [trsp ^], [so] that men [mankind] might [would] know the seasons of the years according to the order [fixed patterns] of [each of] their separate [om] months. [18] And [om] he was the first to write a testimony and [om] he testified to the sons [om] of men [mankind] among [in] the generations of the earth, and recounted [om2 >] the weeks of the jubilees [he related], and made known to them [om2] the days of the years, and set in order [om4] the months [he arranged] and recounted [related] the Sabbaths of the years as we made (them) known to him [had told him]. [19] And what was and what will be he saw in a vision of his sleep, as it will happen to the children of men throughout their generations until the day of judgment; he saw and understood everything, and wrote his testimony, and placed the testimony on earth for all the children of men and for their generations [history]. [21] And he was moreover with the angels of God these six jubilees of years, and they showed him everything which is on earth and in the heavens, the rule [dominion] of the sun, and he wrote down everything. [22] And he testified to the Watchers, who had sinned with the daughters of men; for these had begun to unite themselves [mix], so as to be defiled, with the daughters of men, and Enoch testified against (them) all. [23]And he was taken from among the children of men, and we conducted him into the Garden of Eden in majesty and honor [for (his) greatness and honor], and behold [Now he is] there he writes down [writing down] the condemnation and judgment of the world, and all the wickedness of the children [om] of men [mankind]. [24] And on account of it [him] (God) brought the waters of the flood upon all [the flood water did not come on any of] the land of Eden; for there he was set as a sign and that he should testify against all the children of men, that he should recount all the deeds of the generations [history] until the day of condemnation [judgment].


[NOTE the ambiguous representation of the "Watchers," who in 4.15 descend to earth "to teach mankind and to do what is just and upright" during Jared's lifetime (Enoch's father), but then sin and earn Enoch's condemnation. See also 8.3. The textual variant "the water did not come" / "he brought the waters" is explained by VanderKam as due to a misread word in the Ge'ez textual transmission.On the safety of the Garden of Eden during the flood, see also 2 Enoch 23.33 (the child Melchizedek is kept safely there)!]


4.30 -- And he [Adam] lacked seventy years of one thousand years; for one thousand years are as one day in the testimony of the heavens and therefore was it written concerning the tree of knowledge: 'On the day that you eat of it you shall die.' For this reason he did not complete the years of this day; for he died during it.


4.32 -- it was ordained on the heavenly tablets: With the instrument with which a man kills his neighbour with the same shall he be killed; after the manner that he wounded him, in like manner shall they deal with him.'


5.13f. -- 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; and if they walk not therein, judgment is written down for every creature and for every kind. And there is nothing in heaven or on earth, or in light or in darkness, or in Sheol or in the depth, or in the place of darkness (which is not judged); and all their judgments are ordained and written and engraved.


5.18ff -- [And of the children of Israel it has been written and ordained: If they turn to him in righteousness He will forgive all their transgressions and pardon all their sins. It is written and ordained that He will show mercy to all who turn from all their guilt once each year.] And as for all those who corrupted their ways and their thoughts before the flood, no man's person was accepted save that of Noah alone; for his person was accepted in behalf of his sons, whom (God) saved from the waters of the flood on his account; for his heart was righteous in all his ways, according as it was commanded regarding him, and he had not departed from aught that was ordained for him.


6.12 -- And this testimony is written concerning you that you should observe it continually, so that you should not eat on any day any blood of beasts or birds or cattle during all the days of the earth, and the man who eats the blood of beast or of cattle or of birds during all the days of the earth, he and his seed shall be rooted out of the land.


6.17ff -- it is ordained and written on the heavenly tablets, that they should celebrate the feast of weeks in this month once a year, to renew the covenant every year. [18] And this whole festival was celebrated in heaven from the day of creation till the days of Noah -- twenty-six jubilees and five weeks of years: and Noah and his sons observed it for seven jubilees and one week of years, till the day of Noah's death, and from the day of Noah's death his sons did away with (it) until the days of Abraham, and they ate blood. [19] But Abraham observed it, and Isaac and Jacob and his children observed it up to your days, and in your days the children of Israel forgot it until you [Moses] celebrated it anew on this mountain.


[NOTE: What is the significance of "celebrated in heaven"? Angelic liturgy? Not celebrated by humans on earth? Also, is the point of this celebration the making of a covenant with Noah (Hebrew shevuot = "oath" as well as "weeks")? The "weeks" feature does not seem to be explicated.]


6. 22f -- according to what is written and engraved concerning it, celebrate it. For I [God, or the angel] have written in the book of the first law, in that which I have written for you, that you should celebrate it in its season, one day in the year, and I explained to you its sacrifices that the children of Israel should remember and should celebrate it throughout their generations in this month, one day in every year. [23] And on the new moon of the first month, and on the new moon of the fourth month, and on the new moon of the seventh month, and on the new moon of the tenth month are the days of remembrance, and the days of the seasons in the four divisions of the year. These are written and ordained as a testimony for ever. [24] And Noah ordained them for himself as feasts for the generations for ever, so that they have become thereby a memorial unto him.

[What is envisioned by the wording "the book of the first law" (see also 2.23)? Possibilities include (1) the heavenly tablets are the first, while Moses on Sinai is subsequent -- as are other references in Jubilees to books and tablets delivered to Noah, Abraham, Jacob, etc.; (2) the tablets written by God (or the designated angel) and delivered to Moses on Sinae are the "first," followed by the episode in Exodus of Moses breaking the tablets and rewriting them, although Jubilees does not mention that episode; (3) the "second" law is "Deuteronomy" (as that Greek name indicates), preceded by either or both Sinai and the heavenly tablets, although Jubilees doesn't mention Deuteronomy anywhere else; (4) Jubilees itself is the subsequent book of the law, following up on the Pentateuch (or some variation of that alternative).]


6.28 -- And on this account he [Noah] ordained them for himself as feasts for a memorial for ever, and thus are they ordained. [29] And they [who?] placed them on the heavenly tablets, each had thirteen weeks; from one to another (passed) their memorial, from the first to the second, and from the second to the third, and from the third to the fourth. [30] And all the days of the commandment will be two and fifty weeks of days, and (these will make) the entire year complete. Thus it is engraven and ordained on the heavenly tablets. And there is no neglecting (this commandment) for a single year or from year to year.


6.32ff -- for everything will fall out in them according to their testimony, and they will not leave out any day nor disturb any feasts. [33] But if they do neglect and do not observe them according to His commandment, then they will disturb all their seasons and the years will be dislodged from this (order), [and they will disturb the seasons and the years will be dislodged] and they will neglect their ordinances. [34] And all the children of Israel will forget and will not find the path of the years, and will forget the new moons, and seasons, and sabbaths and they will go wrong as to all the order of the years. [35] For I know and from henceforth will I declare it to you, and it is not of my own devising; for the book (lies) written before me [Noah], and on the heavenly tablets the division of days is ordained, lest they forget the feasts of the covenant and walk according to the feasts of the Gentiles after their error and after their ignorance. [36] For there will be those who will assuredly make observations of the moon -- how (it) disturbs the seasons and comes in from year to year ten days too soon. [37] For this reason the years will come upon them when they will disturb (the order), and make an abominable (day) the day of testimony, and an unclean day a feast day, and they will confound all the days, the holy with the unclean, and the unclean day with the holy; for they will go wrong as to the months and sabbaths and feasts and jubilees. [38] For this reason I command and testify to you that you may testify to them; for after your death your children will disturb (them), so that they will not make the year three hundred and sixty-four days only, and for this reason they will go wrong as to the new moons and seasons and sabbaths and festivals, and they will eat all kinds of blood with all kinds of flesh.


7.20f -- Noah began to enjoin upon his sons' sons the ordinances and commandments, and all the judgments that he knew, and he exhorted his sons to observe righteousness, and to cover the shame of their flesh, and to bless their Creator, and honour father and mother, and love their neighbour, and guard their souls from fornication and uncleanness and all iniquity. For owing to these three things came the flood upon the earth, namely, owing to the fornication wherein the Watchers against the law of their ordinances went a whoring after the daughters of men, and took themselves wives of all which they chose:


7.31-39 -- And you shall not be like him who eats with blood, but guard yourselves that none may eat blood before you: cover the blood, for thus have I [Noah] been commanded to testify to you and your children, together with all flesh. For thus did Enoch, the father of your father command Methuselah, his son, and Methuselah his son Lamech, and Lamech commanded me all the things which his fathers commanded him. And I also will give you commandment, my sons, as Enoch commanded his son in the first jubilees: while still living, the seventh in his generation, he commanded and testified to his son and to his son's sons until the day of his death.'

8.2ff -- And the son [Kainam] grew, and his father [Arpachshad] taught him writing, and he went to seek for himself a place where he might seize for himself a city. And he found a writing which former (generations) had carved on the rock, and he read what was thereon, and he transcribed it and sinned owing to it; for it contained the teaching of the Watchers in accordance with which they used to observe the omens of the sun and moon and stars in all the signs of heaven. And he wrote it down and said nothing regarding it; for he was afraid to speak to Noah about it lest he should be angry with him on account of it.


8.10f -- they divided the earth into three parts, for Shem and Ham and Japheth, according to the inheritance of each, in the first year in the first week, when one of us
who had been sent, was with them. And he [Noah] called his sons, and they drew nigh to him, they and their children, and he divided the earth into the lots, which his three sons were to take in possession, and they reached forth their hands, and took the writing out of the bosom of Noah, their father. And there came forth on the writing as Shem's lot the middle of the earth which he should take as an inheritance for himself and for his sons for the generations of eternity, .


10.13f -- And Noah wrote down all things in a book as we instructed him concerning every kind of medicine. Thus the evil spirits were precluded from (hurting) the sons of Noah. And he gave all that he had written to Shem, his eldest son; for he loved him exceedingly above all his sons.


10.17 -- And in his [Noah] life on earth he excelled the children of men save Enoch because of the righteousness, wherein he was perfect. For Enoch's office was ordained for a testimony to the generations of the world, so that he should recount all the deeds of generation unto generation, till the day of judgment.


11.16 -- And the child [Abram] began to understand the errors of the earth that all went astray after graven images and after uncleanness, and his father taught him writing, and he was two weeks of years old, and he separated himself from his father, that he might not worship idols with him.


12.26f -- And I [God] opened his [Abram's] mouth, and his ears and his lips, and I began to speak with him in Hebrew in the tongue of the creation. And he took the books of his fathers, and these were written in Hebrew, and he transcribed them, and he began from henceforth to study them, and I made known to him that which he could not (understand), and he studied them during the six rainy months.


13.25 -- a tenth of the first fruits to the Lord, and the Lord ordained it as an ordinance for ever that they should give it to the priests who served before Him, that they should possess it for ever. And to this law there is no limit of days; for He hasordained it for the generations for ever that they should give to the Lord the tenth of everything, of the seed and of the wine and of the oil and of the cattle and of the sheep.


14.20 -- And on that day we made a covenant with Abram, according as we had covenanted with Noah in this month; and Abram renewed the festival and ordinance for himself for ever.

15.5f -- And Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, and said:
'Behold my ordinance is with you,
And you shall be the father of many nations.

15.13 -- He that is born in your house shall surely be circumcised, and those whom you have bought with money shall be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an eternal ordinance.


15.25f -- This law is for all the generations for ever, and there is no circumcision of the days, and no omission of one day out of the eight days; for it is an eternal ordinance, ordained and written on the heavenly tablets. And every one that is born, the flesh of whose foreskin is not circumcised on the eighth day, belongs not to the children of the covenant which the Lord made with Abraham, but to the children of destruction;


15.28f -- And do you command the children of Israel and let them observe the sign of this covenant for their generations as an eternal ordinance, and they will not be rooted out of the land. For the command is ordained for a covenant, that they should observe it for ever among all the children of Israel.


15.33f -- And now I announce unto you that the children of Israel will not keep true to this ordinance, and they will not circumcise their sons according to all this law; for in the flesh of their circumcision they will omit this circumcision of their sons, and all of them, sons of Beliar, will leave their sons uncircumcised as they were born. And there will be great wrath from the Lord against the children of Israel. because they have forsaken His covenant and turned aside from His word, and provoked and blasphemed, inasmuch as they do not observe the ordinance of this law; for they have treated their members like the Gentiles, so that they may be removed and rooted out of the land.


16.3 -- And we told her the name of her son, as his name is ordained and written in the heavenly tablets (i.e.) Isaac, and (that) when we returned to her at a set time, she would have conceived a son.


16.8f -- the man [Lot] lay with his daughters. And, behold, it was commanded and engraven concerning all his seed, on the heavenly tablets, to remove them and root them out, and to execute judgment upon them like the judgment of Sodom, and to leave no seed of the man on earth on the day of condemnation.


16.14 -- And Abraham circumcised his son on the eighth day: he was the first that was circumcised according to the covenant which is ordained for ever.


16.28f -- And we blessed him [Abraham] for ever, and all his seed after him throughout all the generations of the earth, because he celebrated this festival in its season, according to the testimony of the heavenly tablets. For this reason it is ordained on the heavenly tablets concerning Israel, that they shall celebrate the feast of tabernacles seven days with joy, in the seventh month, acceptable before the Lord -- a statute for ever throughout their generations every year. And to this there is no limit of days; for it is ordained for ever regarding Israel that they should celebrate it and dwell in booths, .


18.19 -- And accordingly has it been ordained and written on the heavenly tablets regarding Israel and its seed that they should observe this festival seven days with the joy of festival.


19.9 -- he [Abraham] was found faithful, and was recorded on the heavenly tablets as the friend of God.


19.14f -- And the youths grew, and Jacob learned to write; but Esau did not learn, for he was a man of the field and a hunter, and he learnt war, and all his deeds were fierce. And Abraham loved Jacob, but Isaac loved Esau.


21.4f -- For He is the living God, and He is holy and faithful, and He is righteous beyond all, and there is with Him no accepting of (men's) persons and no accepting of gifts; for God is righteous, and executes judgment on all those who transgress His commandments and despise His covenant. And you, my son, observe His commandments and His ordinances and His judgments, and walk not after the abominations and after the graven images and after the molten images.


21.9f -- And eat its meat on that day and on the second day, and let not the sun on the second day go down upon it till it is eaten, and let nothing be left over for the third day; for it is not acceptable [for it is not approved] and let it no longer be eaten, and all who eat thereof will bring sin upon themselves; for thus I [Abraham] have found it written in the books of my forefathers, and in the words of Enoch, and in the words of Noah.


21.23 -- observe the ordinance of the Most High God, and do His will and be upright in all things.


23.16 -- And in that generation the sons shall convict their fathers and their elders of sin and unrighteousness, and of the words of their mouth and the great wickednesses which they perpetrate, and concerning their forsaking the covenant which the Lord made between them and Him, that they should observe and do all His commandments and His ordinances and all His laws, without departing either to the right hand or the left.


23.32 -- Moses, write down these words; for thus are they written, and they record (them) on the heavenly tablets for a testimony for the generations for ever.


24.11 -- And in your [Jacob] seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because your father obeyed My voice, and kept My charge and My commandments, and My laws, and My ordinances, and My covenant; and now obey My voice and dwell in this land.'


24.33 -- And thus is it written and engraved concerning him [Philistines] on the heavenly tablets, to do unto him on the day of judgment, so that he may be rooted out of the earth.


28.6 -- it is ordained and written in the heavenly tablets, that no one should give his younger daughter before the elder; but the elder, one gives first and after her the younger -- and the man who does so, they set down guilt against him in heaven, and none is righteous that does this thing, for this deed is evil before the Lord.

30.5 -- And thus let it not again be done from henceforth that a daughter of Israel be defiled; for judgment is ordained in heaven against them that they should destroy with the sword all the men of the Shechemites because they had wrought shame in Israel.


30.9 -- For thus has it been ordained and written in the heavenly tablets regarding all the seed of Israel: he who defiles (it) shall surely die, and he shall be stoned with stones.


30.12ff -- And you, Moses, command the children of Israel and exhort them not to give their daughters to the Gentiles, and not to take for their sons any of the daughters of the Gentiles, for this is abominable before the Lord. For this reason I have written for you in the words of the Law all the deeds of the Shechemites, which they wrought against Dinah, and how the sons of Jacob spoke, saying: 'We will not give our daughter to a man who is uncircumcised; for that would be a reproach to us.'


30.17f -- For this reason I have commanded you, saying: 'Testify this testimony to Israel: see how the Shechemites fared and their sons: how they were delivered into the hands of two sons of Jacob, and they slew them under tortures, and it was (reckoned) to them for righteousness, and it is written down to them for righteousness.


30.19ff -- And so they inscribe as a testimony in his [Levi's] favor on the heavenly tablets blessing and righteousness before the God of all: And we remember the righteousness which the man fulfilled during his life, at all periods of the year; until a thousand generations they will record it, and it will come to him and to his descendants after him, and he has been recorded on the heavenly tablets as a friend and a righteous man. All this account I have written for you, and have commanded you to say to the children of Israel, that they should not commit sin nor transgress the ordinances nor break the covenant which has been ordained for them, (but) that they should fulfil it and be recorded as friends. But if they transgress and work uncleanness in every way, they will be recorded on the heavenly tablets as adversaries, and they will be destroyed out of the book of life, and they will be recorded in the book of those who will be destroyed and with those who will be rooted out of the earth. And on the day when the sons of Jacob slew Shechem a writing was recorded in their favour in heaven that they had executed righteousness and uprightness and vengeance on the sinners, and it was written for a blessing.


31.32 -- And he said: 'Now I know that I have an eternal hope, and my sons also, before the God of all'; and thus is it ordained concerning the two; and they record it as an eternal testimony unto them on the heavenly tablets how Isaac blessed them.


32.1 -- Levi dreamed that they had ordained and made him the priest of the Most High God, him and his sons for ever; and he awoke from his sleep and blessed the Lord.


32.10ff -- it is ordained on the heavenly tablets as a law for the tithing again the tithe to eat before the Lord from year to year, in the place where it is chosen that His name should dwell, and to this law there is no limit of days for ever. This ordinance is written that it may be fulfilled from year to year in eating the second tithe before the Lord in the place where it has been chosen, and nothing shall remain over from it from this year to the year following.... for thus is it ordained and engraven regarding the tithe on the heavenly tablets.


32.21ff -- And he [Jacob] saw in a vision of the night, and behold an angel descended from heaven with seven tablets in his hands, and he gave them to Jacob, and he read them and knew all that was written therein which would befall him and his sons throughout all the ages. And he showed him all that was written on the tablets, and said unto him: 'Do not build this place, and do not make it an eternal sanctuary, and do not dwell here; for this is not the place. Go to the house of Abraham your father and dwell with Isaac your father until the day of the death of your father. For in Egypt you shall die in peace, and in this land you shall be buried with honour in the sepulchre of your fathers, with Abraham and Isaac. Fear not, for as you have seen and read it, thus shall it all be; and you write down everything as you have seen and read.' And Jacob said: 'Lord, how can I remember all that I have read and seen? 'And he said to him: 'I will bring all things to your remembrance.' And he went up from him, and he awoke from his sleep, and he remembered everything which he had read and seen, and he wrote down all the words which he had read and seen. And he celebrated there yet another day, and he sacrificed thereon according to all that he sacrificed on the former days, and called its name 'Addition,' for this day was added and the former days he called 'The Feast. ' And thus it was manifested that it should be, and it is written on the heavenly tablets: wherefore it was revealed to him that he should celebrate it, and add it to the seven days of the feast. And its name was called 'Addition,' because that it was recorded among the days of the feast days, according to the number of the days of the year.


33.10ff -- it is written and ordained on the heavenly tablets that a man should not lie with his father's wife, and should not uncover his father's skirt, for this is unclean: they shall surely die together, the man who lies with his father's wife and the woman also, for they have wrought uncleanness on the earth. And there shall be nothing unclean before our God in the nation which He has chosen for Himself as a possession. And again, it is written a second time: 'Cursed be he who lies with the wife of his father, for he has uncovered his father's shame'; and all the holy ones of the Lord said 'So be it; so be it.'

[33.13] And you, Moses, command the children of Israel that they observe this word; for it (entails) a punishment of death; and it is unclean, and there is no atonement for ever to atone for the man who has committed this, but he is to be put to death and slain, and stoned with stones, and rooted out from the midst of the people of our God. For to no man who does so in Israel is it permitted to remain alive a single day on the earth, for he is abominable and unclean. And let them not say: to Reuben was granted life and forgiveness after he had lain with his father's concubine, and to her also though she had a husband, and her husband Jacob, his father, was still alive. For until that time there had not been revealed the ordinance and judgment and law in its completeness for all, but in your days (it has been revealed) as a law of seasons and of days, and an everlasting law for the everlasting generations. And for this law there is no consummation of days, and no atonement for it, but they must both be rooted out in the midst of the nation: on the day whereon they committed it they shall slay them. And you, Moses, write (it) down for Israel that they may observe it, and do according to these words, and not commit a sin unto death; for the Lord our God is judge, who respects not persons and accepts not gifts.


34.18f -- For this reason it is ordained for the children of Israel that they should afflict themselves on the tenth of the seventh month -- on the day that the news which made him weep for Joseph came to Jacob his father -- that they should make atonement for themselves thereon with a young goat on the tenth of the seventh month, once a year, for their sins; for they had grieved the affection of their father regarding Joseph his son. And this day has been ordained that they should grieve thereon for their sins, and for all their transgressions and for all their errors, so that they might cleanse themselves on that day once a year.


36.10f -- But on the day of turbulence and execration and indignation and anger, with flaming devouring fire as He burnt Sodom, so likewise will He burn his land and his city and all that is his, and he shall be blotted out of the book of the discipline of the children of men, and not be recorded in the book of life, but in that which is appointed to destruction, and he shall depart into eternal execration; so that their condemnation may be always renewed in hate and in execration and in wrath and in torment and in indignation and in plagues and in disease for ever. I [Isaac] say and testify to you, my sons, according to the judgment which shall come upon the man who wishes to injure his brother.


39.6 -- But he [Joseph] did not surrender his soul, and he remembered the Lord and the words which Jacob, his father, used to read from among the words of Abraham, that no man should commit fornication with a woman who has a husband; that for him the punishment of death has been ordained in the heavens before the Most High God, and the sin will be recorded against him in the eternal books continually before the Lord.


45.12 -- And Joseph took of the corn of the harvest the fifth part for the king and left four parts for them for food and for seed, and Joseph made it an ordinance for the land of Egypt until this day.


45.16 -- And he gave all his books and the books of his fathers to Levi his son that he might preserve them and renew them for his children until this day.


47.9 -- And afterwards, when you [Moses] had grown up, they brought you to the daughter of Pharaoh, and you became her son, and Amram your father taught you writing, and after you had completed three weeks they brought you into the royal court.


48.8 -- And the Lord did everything for Israel's sake, and according to His covenant, which he had ordained with Abraham that He would take vengeance on them as they had brought them by force into bondage.


49.8 -- For it [passover] is an eternal ordinance, and engraven on the heavenly tablets regarding all the children of Israel that they should observe it every year on its day once a year, throughout all their generations; and there is no limit of days, for this is ordained for ever.


49.17 -- And every man who has come upon its day shall eat it in the sanctuary of your God before the Lord from twenty years old and upward; for thus is it written and ordained that they should eat it in the sanctuary of the Lord.


49.22 -- And you, Moses, command the children of Israel to observe the ordinances of the passover, as it was commanded you;


50.4 -- Wherefore I have ordained for you the year-weeks and the years and the jubilees:


50.6 -- And behold the commandment regarding the Sabbaths -- I [God] have written (them) down for you [Moses] -- and all the judgments of its laws. [50.7] Six days shall you labor, but on the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.


50.13 -- The man who does any of these things on the Sabbath shall die, so that the children of Israel shall observe the Sabbaths according to the commandments regarding the Sabbaths of the land, as it is written in the tablets, which He gave into my hands that I [Moses] should write out for you the laws of the seasons, and the seasons according to the division of their days.