What is the book of Jasher and should it be in the Bible?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
known as the "Book of the Upright One" in the Greek Septuagint and the "Book of the Just Ones" in the Latin Vulgate, the Book of Jasher was probably a collection or compilation of ancient Hebrew so...

July 01 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Dscf1720 Myron Robertson Seeking God's heart
The book of Jasher is mentioned in the Bible twice, as something the readers should be familiar with, but then so are the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel and the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. The word Jashar is often translated containing some variation on righteous, which is not bad so far as it goes, but context means everything. The word righteous is a reference that something is true according to God's law. However, context matters. Remember that this is a history book. In this case Jashar means "correct record" and since the standard of righteousness is God's law, it has the connotation of "Correct Record Through the Eyes of God."

On the other hand, the Bible is first and foremost a law book. We like to divide it into sections, only a portion of which we consider law, but the teaching of Jesus should be our guide here. In Jn 10:34 Jesus says, "Does it not say in your law..." then quotes Ps 82:6. All scripture is law in they eyes of God. "Every word that proceeds from the mouth of God," (Dt 8:3) is law in the eyes of God. If you don't live by every word, you are sinning.

Another necessary perspective here is that all history is case law, demonstrating to us how God applies his statutes. Case law is law, It tells us how statutes are to be applied, so is like history. However, the purpose of most history books is not to explain law, but simply to tell us what happened. Thus, history books, such as Jasher, the chronicles of the kings of Israel and Judah (or any other nation for that matter) or the Wars of the Lord (Nu 21:14) don't have a place in scripture, although they are expected to be used as supplements to scripture, as are all histories.

Are there discrepancies between Jasher and the Bible in many regards, but I have not worried two much about them. Biblical numerology is arranged for specific legal-prophetic reasons. This is one reason historians often question the numbers of war casualties in the Bible. Furthermore, many come from the natural tendencies of humans over the centuries. 

One of the most obvious discrepancies is the age of Moses at the time he killed the Egyptian task master. Moses is entirely quiet on the subject thus there are no reliable numbers available in scripture. The only mention available in scripture is Stephen's testimony before the Sanhedrin 1500 years after Moses died.

There are valid prophetic and theological reasons for Stephen's statement, which was the standard theology of the day. Yet we can prove from scripture that the standard theology was already seriously flawed in the days of Eli, remained seriously flawed in the days of Jeremiah, Daniel and Ezekiel, and continued to be seriously flawed in the days of Jesus and Stephen.

Moses simply tells us that he ended up in Midian tending sheep for his father-in-law. It does not tell us how long it took for him to get there nor what he did in the meantime, nor how old he was when he was forced to leave Egypt. Jasher says he was 21 years of age when he killed the task master. He then fled to Cush (which is NOT Midian; Cush is Ham's son and Midian is Abraham's son. These are two different nations.) Moses then went to Cush, served as a general, then after the death of the king, married the queen and ruled Cush until the crown prince came of age. This, not Zipporah, a Midianite, was the Cushite wife Miriam complained about in Numbers 12. After Moses left Cush he went to Midian, and because of the suspicions of Jethro was placed in his dungeon for 10 years with orders not to feed him during that time. Zipporah secretly fed him and at the end of the 10 years ask if he could be released. Jethro said, "What? He is still alive?" and allowed the release.

None of this extra information is actual discrepancy with what Moses tells us about this time, it is only material he omitted for whatever reason. That later theologians tried to force his life to fit a prophetic pattern that may not be relevant is not a concern.

July 08 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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