Zebulun, the sixth son of Jacob and Leah. The inventor and philanthropist., What he learned as a result of the plot against Joseph.
THE copy of the words of Zebulun, which he enjoined on his sons before he died in the hundred and fourteenth year of his life, two years after the death of Joseph.
2 And he said to them: hearken to me, ye sons of Zebulun attend to the words of your father.
3 I, Zebulun, was born a good gift to my parents.
4 For when I was born my father was increased very exceedingly, both in flocks and herds, when with the straked rods he had his portion.
5 I am not conscious that I have sinned all my days, save in thought.
6 Nor yet do I remember that I have done any iniquity, except the sin of ignorance which I committed against Joseph; for I covenanted with my brethren not to tell my father what had been done.
7 But I wept in secret many days on account of Joseph, for I feared my brethren, because they had all agreed that if any one should declare the secret, he should be slain.
8 But when they wished to kill him, I adjured them much with tears not to be guilty of this sin.
9 For Simeon and Gad came against Joseph to kill him, and he said unto them with tears: Pity me, my brethren, have mercy upon the bowels of Jacob our father: lay not upon me your hands to shed innocent blood, for I have not sinned against you.
10 And if indeed I have sinned, with chastening chastise me, my brethren, but lay not upon me your hand, for the sake of Jacob our father,
11 And as he spoke these words, wailing as he did so, I was unable to bear his lamentations, and began to weep, and my liver was poured out, and all the substance of my bowels was loosened.
12 And I wept with Joseph and my heart sounded, and the joints of my body trembled, and I was not able to stand.
13 And when Joseph saw me weeping with him, and them coming against him to slay him, he fled behind me, beseeching them.
14 But meanwhile reuben arose and said: Come, my brethren, let us not slay him, but let us cast him into one of these dry pits, which our fathers digged and found no water.
15 For for this cause the Lord forbade that water should rise up in them in order that Joseph should be preserved.
16 And they did so, until they sold him to the Ishmaelites.
17 For in his price I had no share, my children.
18 But Simeon and Gad and six other of our brethren took the price of Joseph, and bought sandals for themselves, and their wives, and their children, saying:
19 We will not eat of it, for it is the price of our brother’s blood, but we will assuredly tread it under foot, because he said that he would be king over us, and so let us see what will become of his dreams.
20 Therefore it is written in
the writing of the law of Moses, that whosoever will not raise up seed to his brother, his sandal should be unloosed, and they should spit in his face.
21 And the brethren of Joseph wished not that their brother should live, and the Lord loosed from them the sandal which they wore against Joseph their brother.
22 For when they came into Egypt they were unloosed by the servants of Joseph outside the gate, and so they made obeisance to Joseph after the fashion of King Pharaoh.
23 And not only did they make obeisance to him, but were spit upon also, falling down before him forthwith, and so they were put to shame before. the Egyptians.
24 For after this the Egyptians heard all the evils that they had done to Joseph.
25 And after he was sold my brothers sat down to eat and drink.
26 But I, through pity for Joseph, did not eat, but watched the pit, since Judah feared lest Simeon, Dan, and Gad should rush off and slay him.
27 But when they saw that I did not eat, they set me to watch him, till he was sold to the Ishmaelites.
28 And when Reuben came and heard that while he was away Joseph had been sold, he rent his garments, and mourning, said:
29 How shall I look on the face of my father Jacob? And he took the money and ran after the merchants but as he failed to find them he returned grieving.
30 But the merchants had left the broad road and marched through the Troglodytes by a short cut.
31 But Reuben was grieved, and ate no food that day.
32 Dan therefore came to him and said: Weep not, neither grieve; for we have found what we can say to our father Jacob.
33 Let us slay a kid of the goats, and dip in it the coat of Joseph; and let us send it to Jacob, saying: Know, is this the coat of thy son?
34 And they did so. For they stripped off from Joseph his coat when they were selling him, and put upon him the garment of a slave.
35 Now Simeon took the coat, and would not give it up, for he wished to rend it with his sword, as he was angry that Joseph lived and that he had not slain him.
36 Then we all rose up and said unto him: If thou givest not up the coat, we will say to our father that thou alone didst this evil thing in Israel.
37 And so he gave it unto them, and they did even as Dan had said.