Reuben, the first-born son of Jacob and Leah. The man of experience counsels against fornication and points out the ways in. which men are most apt to fall into error.
1:1THE Copy of the Testament of Reuben, even the commands which he gave his sons before he died in the hundred and twenty-fifth year of his life.
1:2Two years after the death of Joseph his brother, when Reuben fell ill, his sons and his sons' sons were gathered together to visit him.
1:3And he said to them: My children, behold I am dying, and go the way of my fathers.
1:4And seeing there Judah, and Gad, and Asher, his brethren, he said to them: Raise me up that I may tell to my brethren and to my children what things I have hidden in my heart, for behold now at length I am passing away.
1:5And he arose and kissed them, and said unto them: Hear, my brethren, and do ye my children, give ear to Reuben your father, in the commands which I give unto you.
1:6And behold I call to witness against you this day the God of heaven, that ye walk not in the sins of youth and fornication, wherein I was poured out, and defiled the bed of my father Jacob.
1:7And I tell you that he smote me with a sore plague in my loins for seven months; and had not my father Jamb prayed for me to the Lord, the Lord would have destroyed me.
1:8For I was thirty years old when I wrought the evil thing before the Lord, and for seven months I was sick unto death.
1:9And after this I repented with set purpose of my soul for seven years before the Lord.
1:10And wine and strong drink I drank not, and flesh entered not into my mouth, and I ate no pleasant food; but I mourned over my sin, for it was great, such as had not been in Israel.
1:11And now hear me, my children, what things I saw concerning the seven spirits of deceit, when I repented.
1:12Seven spirits therefore are appointed against man, and they are the leaders in the works of youth.
1:13And seven other spirits are given to him at his creation, that through them should be done every work of man.
1:14The first is the spirit of life, with which the constitution of man is created.
1:15The second is the sense of sight, with which ariseth desire.
1:16The third is the sense of hearing, with which cometh teaching.
1:17The fourth is the sense of smell, with which tastes are given to draw air and breath.
1:18The fifth is the power of speech, with which cometh knowledge.
1:19The sixth is the sense of taste, with which cometh the eating of meats and drinks; and by it strength is produced, for in food is the foundation. of strength.
1:20The seventh is the power of procreation and sexual intercourse, with which through love of pleasure sins enter in.
1:21Wherefore it is the last in order of creation, and the first in that of youth, because it is filled with ignorance, and leadeth the youth as a blind man to a pit, and as a beast to a precipice.
1:22Besides all these there is an eighth spirit of sleep, with which is brought about the trance of nature and the of death.
1:23With these spirits are mingled the spirits of error.
1:24First, the spirit of fornication is seated in the nature and in the senses;
1:25The second, the spirit of insatiableness in the belly;
1:26The third, the spirit of fighting, in the liver and gall.
1:27The fourth is the spirit of obsequiousness and chicanery, that through officious attention one may be fair in seeming.
1:28The fifth is the spirit of pride, that one may be boastful and arrogant.
1:29The sixth is the spirit of lying, in perdition and jealousy to practise deceits, and concealments from kindred and friends.
1:30The seventh is the spirit of injustice, with which are thefts and acts of rapacity, that a man may fulfil the desire of his heart; for injustice worketh together with the other spirits by the taking of gifts.
1:31And with all these the spirit of sleep is joined which is that of error and fantasy.
1:32And so perisheth every young man, darkening his mind from the truth, and not understanding the law of God, nor obeying the admonitions of his fathers, as befell me also in my youth.
1:33And now, my children, love the truth, and it will preserve you: hear ye the words of Reuben your father.