The Strange Book of Jubilees vs. The Torah, part 2


This is a continuation of “The Strange Book of Jubilees vs. the Torah” where we saw that the author was convinced, among much else, that the count of years from creation is not identical to what we see in the Torah, and the patriarchs began the observance of the Jewish holidays on earth but they were observed previously by angels.


Stories not in the Torah

Adam died at age 930 AM. His son Cain died in the same year. A house fell on his and he was killed by a stone “for with a stone he killed Abel, and by as tone was he killed in righteous judgment.” From this reason it was ordained “on the heavenly tablets: with the instrument with which a man kills his neighbor with the same shall he be killed; after the manner that he wounded him, in like manner shall they deal with him.”

Abraham was born in 1876 and was named after his mother’s father who died before he was born.[1] He realized that his father’s idols were not gods when he was fourteen years old. When he was fifteen, the produce of the land was attacked by ravens, and Abraham showed to people how to save their grain. At age eighteen, he asked his father why he worshipped idols who need your help to move from place to place and who never helped you, and not the true God who causes rain and dew. His father answered that he agreed with Abraham but feared the people who would kill him if he told them the truth. Abraham married Sarai when he was fourty-nine years old. She was his father’s daughter, his half-sister. In 1936, when he was sixty years old, he burned the house of idols.[2] No one knew he did it. His brother Haran ran to extinguish the fire and was killed in the flames. Abraham and his family left Ur and settled in Haran. In 1953, when he was seventy-seven he told his father that he was going to Canaan to see the land and would return to him. He never returned.

While living in Canaan, there was a famine and Abraham went to Egypt. He “dwelt in Egypt five years before his wife was torn from him.” But she was returned. While back in Canaan, he had a dream that his descendants would be in bondage for 414 years.[3]

Abraham told his descendants before his death not to marry any Canaanite because their descendants will be destroyed because Canaan, Noah’s grandson, stole land that Noah had assigned to the descendants of his son Shem. Abraham gave his grandson Jacob a long blessing as well as instructions how to live, including not eating food with heathens.

When Jacob was 63 years old and still a virgin, in 2109, his mother summoned him and told him not to marry a Canaanite woman as his brother Esau did. When he assured her he would not and told her that for the past 22 years Esau had tried to persuade him to marry a Canaanite girl and he refused, his mother gave his an extended blessing just as his grandfather Abraham had done. Five years later, in 2114 AM, Isaac called Esau telling him he will bless him after Esau brings him fresh meat. At the instigation of his mother, Jacob tricked his father into thinking he was Esau, although he never said “I am Esau,” and gave caused it that Isaac was unable to discern that he was being tricked.

Jacob married Leah and Rachel in 2122, the second a week after the first, after seven years of work for their father Laban, when he was seventy years old. He left Laban in 2135 after being with him for twenty years. His daughter Dinah was raped when she was twelve years old. God rewarded the descendants of Levi with the priesthood because he was zealous to execute judgment upon Shechem for raping Dinah.[4] Jacob visited his parents when he returned and took his sons Levi and Judah with him. Both his mother and his father blessed the two boys separately that Levi’s descendants be priests and Judah’s kings. Levi acted as a priest for his father Jacob, officiating at sacrifices.

Ruben saw his father’s concubine Bilhah naked while she was bathing, fell in love with her, and raped her while she was asleep. Jubilees states that the angel who dictated Jubilees to Moses told him to write that offenders such as this should be killed; but Reuben was not killed because the law did not exist when he raped Bilhah. Years later, in Egypt, when Joseph’s master’s wife tried to entice him to sleep with her, he remembered that the penalty for adultery is death, and refused her entreaty.

In 2157, Rebecca died at age 155, and in 2162, Isaac died at age 180. Before their deaths both made Jacob and Esau swear never to harm the other but always show love to one another. They both swore. Before he died, Isaac divided his wealth and gave each a portion, but gave the larger portion to Jacob since he was the first-born. Esau was satisfied with the division acknowledging that he had sold his first-born rights to Jacob. Pharaoh appointed Joseph as second to him in the same year that Isaac died.

In 2165, Judah’s son did not want to sleep with his wife Tamar, who was from Aram, because his mother, Judah’s wife, was a Canaanite, and he wanted to marry a Canaanite also, but his father would not allow him to do so. God slew him because he was wicked. Judah’s second son Onan practiced coitus interruptus and God slew him. Judah promised to give Tamar his third son, but Judah’s wife would not let him do it. She died in 2168. A year later, Tamar tricked Judah into thinking she was a harlot. He slept with her and had two sons. He lamented that he had slept improperly with a daughter-in-law, but angels came to him and told him he was forgiven because he did not know she was his daughter-in-law and lamented his action.


Some other information in Jubilees not in the Torah

In 1569, Noah divided the earth into three parts for the descendants of his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Shem was given the middle of the earth, which included what is today called Israel. In it is Mount Zion “the center of the navel of the earth.” However, Ham’s son Canaan took this land from Shem and it was therefore called after his name Canaan. Ham, his father, as well as his brothers warned Canaan not to take the land because if he did, he would suffer greatly for his act, but Canaan did not listen.

After Sarah’s death, Abraham took Keturah as his wife. She was one of the daughters of his household servants. He did not take Hagar because she was dead.[5]

Esau was so interested in hunting and war, he never learnt how to write.

Isaac remained among the Philistines for 21 years when there was a famine in Canaan (2080-2101).

Jacob’s name was changed to Israel by God in a dream, years after he entered Canaan, not before, as mentioned in the Torah. Jubilees does not have the story of Jacob wrestling with a man/angel who gave him this name. Similarly, Rachel died in 2143 the same year as Dina’s rape, not on the way to Canaan as the Bible states.

A famine struck Canaan in 2171 while Joseph was viceroy in Egypt. Jacob arrived in Egypt in 2172. Five of the 70 members of Jacob’s family died in Egypt leaving no children. Joseph taxed the Egyptians twenty percent. Jacob died in Egypt in 2188. He gave Joseph a double portion, just as his father Isaac gave him a double portion, because Joseph was the first-born of his beloved wife Rachel. Jacob gave all of his books to his grandson Levi the priest. Joseph served as second to Pharaoh for eighty years.

Moses was 21 years old when he saw an Egyptian “smiting thy friend who was of the children of Israel, and thou didst slay him and hide him in the sand.” He remained in Egypt for 36 years when he was 57, not 80 as indicated in Scripture. On his way back to Egypt, satan tried to kill him.


[1] My calculation of the anno mundi has Abraham’s birth in 1948.

[2] Many Jews think that the Bible has the story that when Abraham was a youngster, he took a hatchet and chopped all the idols that belonged to his father. He placed the hatchet in one idols hand. His dad asked him, why did you do it? He said, “Me!! Look that idol did it. See it is still holding the hatchet.” This story is neither in the Bible nor is it even hinted.

[3] Genesis 14:13 states 400 years of affliction and Exodus 12:40 states that the Israelites dwelt in Egypt 430 years.

[4] Levi was joined in this rescue and revenge by his brother Shimon, but the book does not mention any award being given to Shimon. The ancient mindset was that children could be awarded and punished for their parents’ deeds despite not being involved in the good deed and innocent of the bad one.

[5] This is contrary to a midrash quoted by Rashi to Genesis 26:42 that Abraham’s son brought Keturah to him to be his wife after Sarah died.