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Sefer haYashar – The Book of Jasher – Book of the Upright

Written By: CK Quarterman - Oct• 06•12

The Book of Jasher (Sefer haYashar ) debunked: There are several (as many as five) separate works by this title, all composed around1552AD.

The book of Jasher is mentioned in scripture. By that we can know at some point a genuine Book of Jasher did exist. However, there is abundant proof that the currently circulating Book of Jasher is not the real thing. The book of Jasher in its entirety cannot be anything but a forgery.

The current Book of Jasher is a medieval forgery. As far as the medieval forgery aspect goes there are several things that tip you to this conclusion. The current book of Jasher shares a lot of aspects with the Talmud and Targums. For instance magical powers being conjured up using the name of God and a crystal stick with the name of God written on it being used for magical purposes. These are not things you find in the Old Testament, but they are common in medieval Jewish literature. The notion of the idols that Rebecca stole from her father being real human heads mummified with a metal plate in the mouth inscribed with a magical name. The only other reference to that is in the Targum Pseudo Jonathan which is a Medieval Jewish writing. A cabalistic influence is obvious when you read Jasher. Add to this the fact that no ancient copy of the book of Jasher exists. The oldest one known dates to the 17th Century. That should be a big red light for a studier of Bible history. The currently circulating book of Jasher isn’t in the same class as the Book of First Enoch which is a genuinely ancient text and it has been proven so by the fact that fragments of it have been found that date to two hundred BC in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Book of Enoch was present among the Dead Sea scrolls, proving that educated Jews around the time of Christ considered it to be an accurate text. The currently circulating book of Jasher was not present among the scrolls, as I pointed out no ancient copy exists. It’s basically a collection of Jewish fables.

Also, there is further proof that the current Book of Jasher is a forgery. The popular version of the book of Jasher promoted on the web by the Mormons is the 1840 version mentioned by Goodspeed which “appears” to be a translation of the 13th century Hebrew document used as the introduction to the  Hexateuch written by a Spanish Jew in the 13th century and published in Venice in 1625. (Modern Apocrypha, Famous “Biblical” Hoaxes by Edgar J. Goodspeed, The Beacon Press, Boston, 1956)

The Book of Jasher is shown to be a forgery by Chapter Ten verses 8 & 15. In Chapter Ten covering the descendants of Noah, it uses medieval names for territories and countries, perhaps mostly obviously Franza for France and Lumbardi for Lombardy Italy. The text of this chapter also follows the beginning of Josippon, a tenth century rabbinic text that lists the various peoples living in Europe in and around 950AD.

And the children of Gomer, according to their cities, were the Francum, who dwell in the land of Franza, by the river Franza, by the river Senah. (verse 8)

And the children of Elishah are the Almanim, and they also went and built themselves cities; those are the cities situate between the mountains of Job and Shibathmo; and of them were the people of Lumbardi who dwell opposite the mountains of Job and Shibathmo, and they conquered the land of Italia  and remained there unto this day. (verse 15)



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