Sacred Texts  Bible  Apocrypha  Index  Previous  Next 


The Book was known under various titles, most of them in Greek as referred to in later Greek writers. The most important are "Jubilees" (= τὰ Ἰωβηλαῖα or ) and "the little Genesis" (= ἡ λεπτὴ; and variants). Both of these seem to go back to Hebrew originals, and there would thus appear to have been two authoritative Hebrew titles of the original Hebrew work, viz. ha-yôbĕlîm (or sēfer hâ-yôbĕlôth), and Berēshîth zûtā. In the latter the epithet "little" 1 refers not to the extent of the work, but to its relatively inferior position as compared with the canonical Genesis. It is also noteworthy that a clear reference to our Book is made in the recently recovered fragments of a "Zadokite Work." 2 The passage runs as follows (xx. 1):

And as for the exact statement of their Periods to put Israel in remembrance in regard to all these, behold it is treated accurately in the Book of the Divisions of the Seasons according to their jubilees and their Weeks.

This is remarkably like the opening words of the Prologue of our Book: This is the history of the division 

p. x

of the days . . . of the events of the years according to their (year-) weeks, according to their jubilees. . . . Cf. also the colophon at the end of the Book:

Herewith is completed the account of the division of the days.

Other titles of our Book are: The Apocalypse of Moses (Syncellus); The Testament of Moses (the Catena of Nicephorus); The Book of Adam's Daughters (perhaps applied only to a portion of Jubilees); The Life of Adam (perhaps an amplified excerpt of our Book).


ix:1 Applied also to certain minor midrashîm ("midrash zûtā," etc.).

ix:2 First published by Schechter in 1910 (Cambridge Press).

Next: Versions and Original Language