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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

Chapter XXV

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Text Commentary

1And in the second year of this week in this jubilee Rebecca summoned her son Jacob and admonished him, saying, My son, do not marry a Canaanite woman, like Esau your brother, who has married two Canaanite women, and they have been a constant source of distress to me 1 Lit. ‘they have embittered my soul’. with all their wanton ways; for they are utterly debauched and dissolute, and there is no righteousness in them whatever — everything they do is evil. 2But I am devoted to you, my son, and I bless you with all my heart and soul 2 Lit. ‘and my heart and my affection bless you’. every hour of the day and through the watches of the night. 3And now, my son, listen to what I say, and do what your mother wants: do not marry a woman from here, but choose someone from my father's house and of my father's kin. If you do marry someone from my father's house, then 3 Lit. ‘You shall marry …, and’ the Most High God will bless you and your children will be a righteous generation and a holy stock. 4 Lit. ‘seed’.

4And Jacob answered his mother Rebecca and said to her, Behold, mother, I am nine weeks of years old, and I have neither known nor touched any woman, nor have I pledged myself in marriage to anyone, nor have I even thought of marrying a Canaanite woman. 5For I remember, mother, what our father Abraham said, how he commanded me not to marry a Canaanite woman, but to choose a wife from my father's clan 5 Lit. ‘from the seed of my father's house’. and from my own kith and kin. 6I heard long ago that your brother Laban had some daughters, and I have set my heart on them, to find a wife among them. 7And that is why I have kept myself from sinning or being corrupted in any way at any time in my life; for my father Abraham gave me many warnings to beware of lust and fornication. 8And in spite of all his warnings to me, for twenty-two years my brother has argued with me and said to me time and time again, My brother, take a sister of one of my two wives as a wife; but I refuse to do as he did. 9I swear before you, mother, that never while I live will I marry a woman of Canaanite ancestry, and I will not do what is wrong as my brother did. 10Do not be afraid mother: be assured I will do what you want and live a blameless life and keep myself always from wicked ways.

11And at this she looked up to heaven and spread out the fingers of her hands, and opened her mouth, and blessed the Most High God who created heaven and earth, and gave him thanks and praise. 12And she said, Blessed be the Lord God, and may his holy name be blessed for ever and ever, he who has given me Jacob as a pure son and a holy offspring; for he is thine, and thine shall his offspring be continually and in every generation for evermore. 13Bless him, O Lord, and put in my mouth the blessing of righteousness, that I may bless him.

14And at that very moment, when the spirit of righteousness 6 One MS reads ‘the holy spirit’. came down upon her mouth, she placed both her hands on Jacob's head 15and said, Blessed art thou, Lord of righteousness and God of the ages; and as for you, Jacob, may he bless you more than all the generations of men: may he set you, my son, on the path of righteousness, and reveal righteousness to your descendants. 16And may he multiply your sons while you are still alive, and may they equal in number the months of the year; and may their sons multiply and surpass in number the stars of heaven, and their numbers be more than the sand of the sea. 17And may he give them this goodly land (as he said he would give it for all time to Abraham and his descendants after him), and may they hold it as a possession for ever. 18And while I am still alive, my son, may I see blessed children born to you; and a blessed and holy race may all your descendants be. 19And as you have refreshed your mother's spirit while she was still alive, the womb of her that bore you blesses you thus: my bosom 7 Or ‘my natural affections’. The word in the Heb. original was probably raḥamim, usually explained as an intensive plural of the word previously translated ‘womb’ (reḥem). and my breasts bless you, and my mouth and my tongue extol you. 20May you increase and spread over the earth, and may your descendants be perfect in the joy of heaven and earth for ever; and may those who spring from you rejoice, and on the day of great peace may they have peace. 21May your name and your line endure through every age, and may the Most High God be their God; and may the God of righteousness dwell with them, and by them may his sanctuary be built and stand for ever. Blessed be the 22man that blessses you, and any man that curses you without due cause, may he be cursed.

23And she kissed him and said to him, May the Lord of the world love you as much as your mother's heart and her affection for you rejoice in you and bless you. And she brought her blessing to an end.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘they have embittered my soul’.

2 Lit. ‘and my heart and my affection bless you’.

3 Lit. ‘You shall marry …, and’

4 Lit. ‘seed’.

5 Lit. ‘from the seed of my father's house’.

6 One MS reads ‘the holy spirit’.

7 Or ‘my natural affections’. The word in the Heb. original was probably raḥamim, usually explained as an intensive plural of the word previously translated ‘womb’ (reḥem).

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