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The Forgotten Books of Eden, by Rutherford H. Platt, Jr., [1926], at


He makes a plea for orderly living. Notable for their eternal wisdom are Verses 27-40.

FOR in the fortieth year of my life, I saw a vision on the Mount of Olives, on the east of Jerusalem, that the sun and the moon were standing still.

2 And behold Isaac, the father of my father, said to us; Run and lay hold of them, each one according to his strength; and to him that seizeth them will the sun and moon belong.

3 And we all of us ran together, and Levi laid hold of the sun, and Judah outstripped the others and seized the moon, and they were both of them lifted up with them.

4 And when Levi became as a sun, lo, a certain young man gave to him twelve branches of palm; and Judah was bright as the moon, and under their feet were twelve rays.

5 And the two, Levi and Judah, ran, and laid hold of them.

6 And lo, a bull upon the earth, with two great horns, and an eagle's wings upon its back; and we wished to seize him, but could not.

7 But Joseph came, and seized him, and ascended up with him on high.

8 And I saw, for I was there, and behold a holy writing appeared to us, saying: Assyrians, Medes, Persians, Chaldeans, Syrians, shall possess in captivity the twelve tribes of Israel.

9 And again, after seven days, I saw our father Jacob standing by the sea of Jamnia, and we were with him.

10 And behold, there came a ship sailing by, without sailors or pilot; and there was written upon the ship, The Ship of Jacob.

11 And our father said to us: Come, let us embark on our ship.

12 And when he had gone on board, there arose a vehement storm, and a mighty tempest of wind; and our father, who was holding the helm, departed from us.

13 And we, being tost with the tempest, were borne along over the sea; and the ship was filled with water, and was pounded by mighty waves, until it was broken up.

14 And Joseph fled away upon a little boat, and we were all divided upon nine planks, and Levi and Judah were together.

15 And we were all scattered unto the ends of the earth.

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16 Then Levi, girt about with sackcloth, prayed for us all unto the Lord.

17 And when the storm ceased, the ship reached the land as it were in peace.

18 And, lo, our father came, and we all rejoiced with one accord.

19 These two dreams I told to my father; and he said to me: These things must be fulfilled in their season, after that Israel hath endured many things.

20 Then my father saith unto me: I believe God that Joseph liveth, for I see always that the Lord numbereth him with you.

21 And he said, weeping: Ah me, my son Joseph, thou livest, though I behold thee not, and thou seest not Jacob that begat thee.

22 He caused me also, therefore, to weep by these words, and I burned in my heart to declare that Joseph had been sold, but I feared my brethren.

23 And lo! my children, I have shown unto you the last times, how everything shall come to pass in Israel.

24 Do ye also, therefore, charge your children that they be united to Levi and to Judah; for through them shall salvation arise unto Israel, and in them shall Jacob be blessed.

25 For through their tribes shall God appear dwelling among men on earth, to save the race of Israel, and to gather together the righteous from amongst the Gentiles.

26 If ye work that which is good, my children, both men and angels shall bless you; and God shall be glorified among the Gentiles through you, and the devil shall flee from you, and the wild beasts shall fear you, and the Lord shall love you, and the angels shall cleave to you.

27 As a man who has trained a child well is kept in kindly remembrance; so also for a good work there is a good remembrance before God.

28 But him that doeth not that which is good, both angels and men shall curse, and God shall be dishonoured among the Gentiles through him, and the devil shall make him as his own peculiar instrument, and every wild beast shall master him, and the Lord shall hate him.

29 For the commandments of the law are twofold, and through prudence must they be fulfilled.

30 For there is a season for a man to embrace his wife, and a season to abstain therefrom for his prayer.

31 So, then, there are two commandments; and, unless they be done in due order, they bring very great sin upon men.

32 So also is it with the other commandments.

33 Be ye therefore wise in God, my children, and prudent, understanding the order of His commandments, and the laws of every word, that the Lord may love you,

34 And when he had charged them with many such words, he exhorted them that they should remove his bones to Hebron, and that they should bury him with his fathers.

35 And when he had eaten and drunken with a merry heart, he covered his face and died.

36 And his sons did according to all that Naphtali their Father had commanded them.

Next: Chapter I