Testament of Gad
The Testament of Gad
Gad was the ninth son of Jacob and Zilpah, a maid of Jacob's wife, Leah. She offered Zilpa to Jacob so that he could have more children, and then she raised these children as her own. Although Gad was not Leah's biological son, he was accepted and known. Leah proclaimed that Gad's birth was lucky or the result of good fortune, which is what Gad's name really means.Gad's position in the family can have an impact on his personality. Being the seventh son and the offspring of a servant forced him to assert himself. Gad was also characterized by a very friendly temperament towards his siblings. It was he who became the greatest warrior of all.
Genesis 49:19 "Gad will be attacked by raiders, but he will attack their heels."
He exhorted on resentment and hatred.
The copy of the testament of Gad, what things he spake unto his sons, in the hundred and twenty-fifth year of his life,
saying unto them: Hearken, my children, I was the seventh son born to Jacob, and I was valiant in keeping the flocks.
Accordingly I guarded at night the flock; and whenever the lion came, or the wolf, or any wild beast against the fold, I pursued it, and overtaking it I seized its foot with my hand and hurled it about a stone's throw, and so killed it.
Now Joseph my brother was feeding the flock with us for upwards of thirty days, and being young, he fell sick by reason of the heat.
And he returned to Hebron to our father, who made him lie down near him, because he loved him greatly.
And Joseph told our father that the sons of Zilpah and Bilhah were slaying the best of the flock and eating them against the judgement of Reuben and Judah.
For he saw that I had delivered a lamb out of the mouth of a bear, and put the bear to death; but had slain the lamb, being grieved concerning it that it could not live, and that we had eaten it.
And regarding this matter I was angry with Joseph until the day that he was sold.
And the spirit of hatred was in me, and I wished not either to hear of Joseph with the ears, or see him with the eyes, because he rebuked us to our faces saying that we were eating of the flock without Judah. For whatsoever things he told our father, he believed him.
I confess now my sin, my children, that oftentimes I wished to kill him, because I hated him from my heart.
Moreover, I hated him yet more for his dreams; I would have devoured him out of the land of the living, even as a calf devours the grass from the earth.
Therefore I and Simeon sold him to the Ishmaelites [for thirty pieces of gold, and ten of them we hid, and showed the twenty to our brethren]
And thus through covetousness we were bent on slaying him.
Thus the God of our fathers delivered him from our hands, that we should not work great lawlessness in Israel.
And now, my children, hearken to the words of truth to work righteousness, and all the law of the Most High, and go not astray through the spirit of hatred, for it is evil in all the doings of men.
Whatsoever a man does, that does the hater abhor: though he works the law of the Lord, he praises him not; though he fears the Lord, and takes pleasure in that which is righteous, he loves him not
He dispraises the truth, he envies him that prospers, he welcomes evil-speaking, he loves arrogance, for hatred blinds his soul; as I also then looked on Joseph.
Beware, therefore, my children of hatred, for it works lawlessness even against the Lord Himself.
For it will not hear the words of His commandments concerning the loving of one's--neighbour, and it sins against God.
For if a brother stumble, it delights immediately to proclaim it to all men, and is urgent that he should be judged for it, and be punished and be put to death.
And if it be a servant it stirs him up against his master, and with every affliction it devises against him, if possibly he can be put to death.
For hatred works with envy also against them that prosper: so long as it hears of or sees their success it always languishes.
For as love would quicken even the dead, and would call back them that are condemned to die, so hatred would slay the living, and those that had sinned venially it would not suffer to live.
For the spirit of hatred works together with Satan, through hastiness of spirits, in all things to men's death; but the spirit of love works together with the law of God in long-suffering unto the salvation of men.
Hatred, therefore, is evil, for it constantly mates with lying, speaking against the truth; and it makes small things to be great, and causes the light to be darkness, and calls the sweet bitter, and teaches slander, and kindles wrath, and stirs up war, and violence and all covetousness; it fills the heart with evils and devilish poison.
These things, therefore, I say to you from experience, my children, that you may drive forth hatred, which is of the devil, and cleave to the love of God. Righteousness casts out hatred, humility destroys envy.
For he that is just and humble is ashamed to do what is unjust, being reproved not of another, but of his own heart, because the Lord looks on his inclination.
He speaks not against a holy man, because the fear of God overcomes hatred.
For fearing lest he should offend the Lord, he will not do wrong to any man, even in thought.
These things I learnt at last, after I had repented concerning Joseph.
For true repentance after a godly sort destroys ignorance, and drives away the darkness, and enlightens the eyes, and gives knowledge to the soul, and leads the mind to salvation.
And those things which it has not learnt from man, it knows through repentance.
For God brought upon me a disease of the heart; and had not the prayers of Jacob my father intervened, it had hardly failed that my spirit had departed
For by what things a man transgresses by the same also is he punished.
Since, therefore, my liver was set mercilessly against Joseph, in my liver too I suffered mercilessly, and was judged for eleven months, for so long a time as I had been angry against Joseph.
And now, my children, I exhort you to love each one his brother, and put away hatred from your hearts, love one another in deed, and in word, and in the inclination of the soul.
For in the presence of my father I spake peaceably to Joseph; and when I had gone out, the spirit of hatred darkened my mind, and stirred up my soul to slay him.
Love one another from the heart; and if a man sin against you, speak peaceably to him, and in thy soul hold not guile; and if he repent and confess, forgive him.
But if he deny it, do not get into a passion with him, lest catching the poison from him you take to swearing and so you sin doubly.
Let not another man hear your secrets when engaged in legal strife, lest he come to hate you and become your enemy, and commit a great sin against you; for ofttimes he addresses you guilefully or evilly overreach you with wicked intent.
And though he deny it and yet have a sense of shame when reproved, give over reproving him. For be who denies may repent so that he no more does wrong against you; yea, he may also honour you, and fear you, and be at peace with you.
And if he be shameless and persist in his wrong-doing, even so forgive him from the heart, and leave to God the avenging.
If a man prospers more than you, do not be vexed, but pray also for him, that he may have perfect prosperity for so it is expedient for you.
And if he be further exalted, be not envious of him, remembering that all flesh shall die; and offer praise to God, who gives things good and profitable to all men.
Seek out the judgments of the Lord, and your mind will rest and be at peace.
And though a man become rich by evil means, even as Esau, the brother of my father, be not jealous; but wait for the end of the Lord.
For if he takes away from a man wealth gotten by evil means and He forgiveth him if he repent, but the unrepentant is reserved for eternal punishment.
For the poor man, if free from envy he pleases the Lord in all things, is blessed beyond all men, because he has not the travail of vain men.
Put away, therefore, jealousy from your souls, and love one another with uprightness of heart.
Do you also therefore tell these things to your children, that they honour Judah and Levi, for from them shall the Lord raise up salvation to Israel.
For I know that at the last your children shall depart from Him, and shall walk in all wickedness, and affliction and corruption before the Lord.
And when he had rested for a little while, he said again; My children, obey your father, and bury me near to my fathers.
And he drew up his feet, and fell asleep in peace.
And after five years they carried him up to Hebron, and laid him with his fathers.
To God be the glory. Amen!