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Time of Righteousness, Testament of Naphtali, 4Q215

Previously classified as part of the Testament of Naphtali (4Q215), the four fragments of 4Q215a, of which only one is translatable, belong to a work of poetic eschatology. The subject is the end of wickedness and the portrayal of final blessedness.

Fr. 1 ii

… and the stressful constraint and the ordeal of the pit and they shall be refined by them to become the elect of righteousness, and all their wickedness will be blotted out (?) because of His loving-kindness. For the age of wickedness is complete and all injustice has [passed] away. [For] the time of righteousness has come and the earth is full with knowledge and the praise of God. In the day[s of] … has come the age of peace and the precepts of truth and the testimony of righteousness to make one understand the ways of God and the might of His deeds for ever and ever. Every … shall bless Him and every man shall prostrate himself before Him. [And they shall have] one [he]art. For He knows their recompense before they were created and had assigned the service of righteousness as their boundaries … in their generations. For the dominion of righteousness/of goodness has come and He shall raise up the throne of the [kingdom], and intelligence is greatly exalted; prudence and soundness are tried by [His] h[o]ly desi[gn] …

Testament of Naphtali, Fr. 1

… with the sisters(?) of (or: with Ahiyot,) the father of Bilhah, … Deborah, who suckled Reb[eccah] … And he went into captivity and Laban sent out and rescued him and gave him Hannah, one of [his] maidservants. [And she conceived and bore] a first [daughter], Zilphah, and gave her the name Zilphah after the name of the town whe[re] he was taken into captivity. She conceived and bore Bilhah, my mother, and Hannah called her name Bilhah, for when she was born, [she was in] a hurry to suck. And she said, ‘What? Is my daughter in a hurry?’ And she called her again Bilhah. vacat When my father Jacob came to Laban, fleeing from Esau, his brother, and after… the father of Bilhah my mother. And Laban led Hannah, the mother of my mother and her two daughters, [and he gave one to Lea]h and one to Rachel. And when it came to pass that Rachel did not bear sons, … [Jaco]b my father, and he gave him Bilhah my mother and she bore Dan [my] brother…


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