Testament of Benjamin

The historical expansion section of Benjamin concerns an apocryphal story about Joseph in his trip down to Egypt (chapters 1-2). Joseph is a model of a pious man who loved the Lord his God, feared him and loved his neighbor (chapter 3). There is a Christian interpolation at 3:8 which connects Joseph to the Lamb of God who comes to take way the sins of the world (cf. T.Jos 19:8).

Image result for Benjamin Joseph bibleThe ethical section of this testament describe the “goal of a good man” (chapters 4-6). A good man is to be an imitator of good (4:1). Imitation is a common component of ethical training in the Hellenistic world and is found frequent in Paul’s letters (1 Thess 1:6, 2:14; Col 4:16; 1 Cor 11:1; Eph 5:1; Phil 3:17, 4:9).

Another similarity to the Pauline ethic is Benjamin’s advice to the good man to “set his mind on what is good” (5:1, cf. Phil 4:9; Col 3:1-4; 2 Cor 4:18). Chapters 7-8 develop the familiar theme of fleeing evil, Beliar, etc. (7:1, 8:1, “run from corruption, cling to what is good”). This especially includes sexual sin, the writer cites 1 Enoch and the Sodomites as examples. Beliar offers his children seven “swords” of moral sins. The result of these sins is direct punishment by God. Benjamin uses the example of Cain, who was “handed over by God for seven punishments, for in every hundredth year the Lord brought upon him one plague” (7:3).

Chapters 9-11 are a mini-apocalypse, although it is the most muted of all the Testaments. The future temple will exceed the glory of the first and the twelve tribes will be gathered together. At that time, “Most High shall send forth his salvation through the ministration of the unique prophet” (9:2, cf., Deut 18:15). Chapter 9 also includes one of the most obvious Christian interpolations in the Testaments of the Twelve.

T.Benjamin 9:3 He shall enter the first temple, and there the Lord will be abused and will be raised up on wood. And the temple curtain shall be torn, and the spirit of God will move on to all the nations as a fire is poured out. And he shall ascend from Hades and shall pass on from earth to heaven. I understand how humble he will be on the earth, and how splendid in heaven.”

In chapter 10 Benjamin is given a vision of Joseph after praying earnestly to see him. In chapter 11 there is a reference to resurrection, since if one keeps the commandments of God they will see Enoch, Seth, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob “being raised at the right hand of joy” (10:5-6). All will be raised and changed, and all will be destined for either glory or dishonor (10:7). This is remarkably similar to Paul in 1 Cor. 15:51 in another clear resurrection context. A “beloved of the Lord” will raise up from Judah and Levi who will do God’s will and enlighten the nations (11:2).

2 thoughts on “Testament of Benjamin

  1. This feels… tailor made, for me…. no lie.
    Eerily so, I accept God’s message. And I am going to heed Benjamin’s counsel. His instruction and reproach will forever be engrained upon my heart. I wonder if Abba YHWH gave him visions of my life… I wonder if he sat and prayed for me all those thousands of years ago.
    I often thought about Joseph’s younger brother. Throughout my life I have known the story of Joseph and his colorful coat. But at 32 years old…. I am just now finding out about this book thanks to a single google search.
    Yah’s will be done. His timing is utterly perfect and never withstanding.
    He has touched my heart and healed so many wounds. May the world be at peace knowing i am on the side of good and life and truth and honor and faith.
    I am being treaded upon in the potter’s field at the moment…. But hey.. He is the Pater we are the clay. And one day.. I’ll be a glorious work of His.
    I feel this in my heart, and in my soul.
    It is good, that this is the will of Yahushua Ha Machiach. That He does not want to smite me down in to the flames.
    Let it be done. FATHER. Please, in the name of your son and your Holy Spirit, Let this all be done.
    Ruach HaKodesh, please comfort me and guide me in all of my ways…
    I love you Adonai. I love you Elohim. I love you my King of kings.
    Be forever loving, and caring, and generous!!!!
    I love you all.
    I hate no man, only sins we commit.
    Hate the sin. Not the sinner.
    Love your neighbor, love your enemy even, love your workers, love your family. But most of all and firstly!- Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, all thy soul, and all your mind. Everyone. Please. Forevermore.
    For all of our sake.
    One world. Many individuals. Many lives interconnected and woven together in a beautiful tapestry of life. And he said that it was good. And it still is. He loves you. Infinitely more than you can imagine.
    He said: “Peace I give unto you. My peace I give to you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

    Shabbat Shalom Everyone.
    Peace be with you all this early Sunday morning.

    Ps. It was probably around this time of the week that ceeation first began. As he hovered over the waters of the deep and the Earth was dark and void….. hmm 🙂 how peaceful. How relaxing.
    Before all this was a thing. There was just..
    Father Sky, and Mother Earth.
    Father Time, and Mother Nature.
    Oh I yearn to touch his hand, hold it, and say Abba Father, thank you so much for all you’ve done for me, and I love you eternally. I am forever your servant, your child, your student, and your friend.
    Keep teaching me. Keep loving me. And please… go easy on me. I’m a bit sensitive.

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