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Chronicles of Jerahmeel, by M. Gaster [1899], at

XXXVII. (1) And Esau went into a land away from his brother Jacob. He made a contract with him. Some say he went out of shame. The sages say: Esau went away because he had moved his property away, and not because his hatred had subsided, for "his anger did he bear perpetually and he kept his wrath for ever." Although he went away at that time, he came again to fight Jacob afterwards. Leah had just died, and Jacob and his sons were sitting in mourning, and some of his children had come to comfort him. At that time Esau came against him with a mighty host, all clad in iron and brass coats of mail, all armed with shields, and bows, and lances. They were altogether four thousand men, and they surrounded the fortress. Jacob, his sons, his servants, and his cattle, and all that belonged to them, were gathered, for they had all congregated to comfort Jacob during his mourning. (2) So they were all sitting peacefully, and never thought of any attack from any side whatsoever until that host approached the place where Jacob and his sons were dwelling. There were with them in all two hundred servants.

(3) When Jacob saw that Esau dared to war with him, and that he had come to take the fortress and to slay them, and that he shot arrows against them, Jacob stood upon the wall of the tower and spoke to Esau words of peace, friendship and brotherhood. But Esau did not heed them.

(4) After that, Judah spoke to his father Jacob, and Said to him: "How long wilt thou speak unto him words of friendship and love, whilst he comes against us like an armed enemy, with coats of mail and with bows to slay us?" And immediately Jacob bent the bow, and killed Adoram

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the Edomite. (5) And again he drew his bow, sent forth his arrow, and hit Esau on the right shoulder. Esau became weak from the wound, and so his sons took him up and placed him upon a white mule, and they carried him to Adoram, where he died. [Others say he did not die there.]

(6) And then came Judah, and Gad and Naphtali with him, out of the south side of the fortress, and fifty young men-servants of their father. And Levi, and Dan, and Asher came out from the east side of the fortress, and fifty servants with them. And Reuben, Issachar and Zebulun came out from the north of the fortress, and with them fifty servants. And Simeon, and Benjamin, and Enoch, the son of Reuben, came out from the west side of the fortress, and fifty servants with them. Joseph was not with them at that time, for he had already been sold.

(7) Judah strengthened himself for the battle, and he, Naphtali and Gad first rushed against the host. And they captured the iron tower (?), and caught on their shields the stones which were hurled at them. The sun was darkened through the stones, and through the arrows which were shot at them, and through the missiles which the catapults hurled at them. And Judah rushed first against the enemy, and killed sixty men. Naphtali and Gad went with him, one kept watch over him to the right, and the other to the left, guarding him lest he should be slain by the enemy. They also slew two men each, and the fifty servants who were with them helped them, and each of them slew his man, fifty in all. (8) And yet Judah, Naphtali and Gad could not drive away the host from the north side of the fortress, nor even move them from their position. Again they strengthened themselves for the battle, and each of them slew two of his adversaries. (9) And when Judah saw that they still kept their ground and that they could not move them from their place, his wrath was kindled, and he clothed himself with strength, and he slew twenty men, whilst Naphtali and Gad slew ten men. And when the servants saw that Judah, Naphtali and Gad were standing in the midst of the battle, they came to their assistance, and

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fought together with them. Judah was slaying to the right and left, and Naphtali and Gad slew behind him. (10) At that time they drove the army away from the north side of the city, a distance of a furlong (Rīs ###). And they wanted to bury (their dead), but could not do it. When the enemy saw that those who had fought against Judah had been dispersed by Judah and his brothers, they gathered together and strengthened themselves to fight with Judah and his brothers, and they arrayed their ranks to fight with strength and might. In the same manner Levi and those with him, and Simeon and those with him, prepared themselves for battle with those arrayed against them, and they were ready to fight for life or death.

(11) When Judah beheld that the whole army of the enemy had gathered against him, and that all would fight at one time, and that they stood in battle-array, he lifted up his eyes to God (imploringly) that He might help them, for they were very fatigued from the heavy fight, and they could not by any means fight any longer.

(12) At that moment God accepted Judah's prayer. He saw their trouble, and He helped them, for He sent forth a storm from His treasuries, which blew in the faces of the army and filled their eyes with darkness and obscurity, so that they could not see how to fight, whilst the eyes of Judah and his brothers were clear, as the wind came from behind them. So Judah, Naphtali and Gad began to slay them, and they felled them to the ground, like the harvest cut by the reaper, who binds it into sheaves and heaps them up into stacks. So did they do until they had destroyed the whole army which stood against them on the north side of the fortress.

(13) Reuben, Simeon and Levi fought on their side with another portion of the army. And after Judah, Naphtali and Gad had slain those who fought with them, they went to the assistance of their brothers. The storm was still blowing, filling the eyes of the enemies with darkness and obscurity. Thereupon Reuben, Simeon and Levi, and those with them, fell upon the enemies, and felled them

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to the ground in heaps, whilst Judah, Naphtali and Gad were driving them before them, until all those were destroyed who fought against Levi and Reuben; and out of those who fought against Simeon four hundred were slain. The remaining six hundred ran away; with them were the four sons of Esau: Reuel, Yeush, Ya‘alam and Borah. Eliphaz did not accompany them in the war, for Jacob had been his teacher.

(14) The sons of Jacob pursued them up to the city Merodio (Herodia). There in the citadel of Merodio they left the body of Esau lying on the ground, and they ran away to Mount Se‘ïr, to the place leading up to ‘Aqrabim. The sons of Jacob entered Merodio and encamped there over night. Finding there the body of Esau, they buried him out of respect for their father, Jacob. (Some say he did not die there, but left Merodio, though ill, and went with his children to Mount Se‘ïr.)

The sons of Jacob armed themselves and pursued them the way leading to ‘Aqrabim, where they found the children of Esau, and all those that had fled with them. They all came out, prostrated themselves before the sons of Jacob, and sued for peace. The children of Jacob made peace with them, and made them tributary for ever.

Next: XXXVIII. This Is the Will (Testament) of Naphtali, Son of Jacob