We receive questions from time to time about the Cepher Yashar (Book of Jasher). Many commentators wonder if the book is a true Cepher of the Hebrew tradition, or a construct made up years or even centuries later.
However, as we read through Yashar, we find a very interesting discussion, which smacks of credulity and veracity. Let’s set the stage. In Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 37, we are told the story of the 10 sons of Ya’aqov (Yisra’el) who trapped Rachel’s first born son Yoceph, sold him into slavery in Mitsrayim (Egypt), and told their father that he had been killed by beasts. As our story continues:
Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 39:1-6
AND Yoceph was brought down to Mitsrayim; and Potiyphar, an officer of Phar`oh, captain of the guard, a Mitsriy, bought him of the hands of the Yishma`e’liym, which had brought him down thither. 2 And YAHUAH was with את eth-Yoceph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Mitsriy. 3 And his master saw that YAHUAH was with him, and that YAHUAH made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4 And Yoceph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. 5 And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that YAHUAH blessed את eth-the Mitsriy's house for Yoceph’s sake; and the blessing of YAHUAH was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. 6 And he left all that he had in Yoceph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Yoceph was a goodly person, and well favoured.
Yoceph, however, ends up in a dungeon because of the false testimony of Potiyphar’s wife, who made the accusation of rape. However, while he was in this dungeon, he interpreted two dreams correctly, and eventually, he was referred to Phar’oh for purposes of interpreting the dreams of Phar’oh. Yoceph did in fact interpret those dreams correctly, predicting seven years of bounty, and seven years of drought and famine.
Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 41:37
And the thing was good in the eyes of Phar`oh, and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Phar`oh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the RUACH ELOHIYM is? 39 And Phar`oh said unto El-Yoceph, Forasmuch as ELOHIYM has showed you את eth-all this, there is none so discreet and wise as you are: 40 You shall be over my house, and according to your word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than you. 41 And Phar`oh said unto El-Yoceph, See, I have set you over all the land of Mitsrayim. 42 And Phar`oh took off את eth-his ring from his hand, and put it upon Yoceph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; 43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Mitsrayim. 44 And Phar`oh said unto El-Yoceph, I am Phar`oh, and without you shall no man lift up את eth-his hand or את eth-his foot in all the land of Mitsrayim. 45 And Phar`oh called Yoceph’s name Tsophnath Pa`neach; and he gave him to be his woman את eth-Acenath the daughter of PotiyPhera priest of On. And Yoceph went out over all the land of Mitsrayim.
However, there is more to this story found in Yashar. We start with this curious custom:
Yashar (Jasher) 48:43
And the throne upon which the king sat was covered with gold and silver, and with onyx stones, and it had seventy steps. 44 And it was their custom throughout the land of Mitsrayim, that every man who came to speak to the king, if he was a prince or one that was estimable in the sight of the king, he ascended to the king's throne as far as the thirty first step, and the king would descend to the thirty sixth step, and speak with him. 45 If he was one of the common people, he ascended to the third step, and the king would descend to the fourth and speak to him, and their custom was, moreover, that any man who understood to speak in all the seventy languages, he ascended the seventy steps, and went up and spoke till he reached the king.
It appears that the common man could likely speak at least three languages of the kingdom (and note, that this is not uncommon. It is said that there are 165 languages that are spoken even today in Russia). However, those who held authority such as princes within the kingdom would rise to the 31st step, yielding the assumption that they had authority over some sizeable minority of languages being spoken within their respective provinces. The Phar’oh would descend to the 36th step – the first step of the second half, leaving four empty steps between – for purposes of discussion. Such a move would indicate to the prince that advancement was still a possibility, but that in no event would the prince control more than half the kingdom. This practice again illustrates that Mitsrayim was essentially a capitalist empire, and became a sharp capitalist empire under the direction of Yoceph, who gathered grain for seven years (stored a surplus; i.e., capital), and who then leveraged the capital to gain control over all the neighboring lands during the seven years of drought. Yoceph is the father of capitalism, and the practice of maintaining control over the majority, but allowing for competition and advancement over the minority is the essential nature of publicly traded corporations today (at least theoretically).
But because Yoceph was Ivriy (Hebrew), the officials did not believe he could rule in Mitsrayim.
Yashar (Jasher) 49:6-10
And they all answered the king and said: The counsel which the Ivriy has given concerning this is good; now therefore, our lord and king, behold the whole land is in your hand, do that which seems good in your sight. 7 Him whom you choose, and whom you in your wisdom know to be wise and capable of delivering the land with his wisdom, him shall the king appoint to be under him over the land. 8 And the king said to all the officers: I have thought that since ELOHIYM has made known to the Ivriy man all that he has spoken, there is none so discreet and wise in the whole land as he is; if it seem good in your sight I will place him over the land, for he will save the land with his wisdom. 9 And all the officers answered the king and said, but surely it is written in the laws of Mitsrayim, and it should not be violated, that no man shall reign over Mitsrayim, nor be the second to the king, but one who has knowledge in all the languages of the sons of men. 10 Now therefore our lord and king, behold this Ivriy man can only speak the Ivriyt language, and how then can he be over us the second under government, a man who not even knows our language?
Of course, this issue of languages – a curious one to be sure – is something over which YAH has little difficulty. Now, watch what happens:
Yashar (Jasher) 49:13-17
And on that night YAHUAH sent one of his ministering angels, and he came into the land of Mitsrayim unto Yoceph, and the angel of YAHUAH stood over Yoceph, and behold Yoceph was lying in the bed at night in his master's house in the dungeon, for his master had put him back into the dungeon on account of his woman. 14 And the angel roused him from his sleep, and Yoceph rose up and stood upon his legs, and behold the angel of YAHUAH was standing opposite to him; and the angel of YAHUAH spoke with Yoceph, and he taught him all the languages of man in that night, and he called his name Yahuceph. 15 And the angel of YAHUAH went from him, and Yoceph returned and lay upon his bed, and Yoceph was astonished at the vision which he saw. 16 And it came to pass in the morning that the king sent for all his officers and servants, and they all came and sat before the king, and the king ordered Yoceph to be brought, and the king's servants went and brought Yoceph before Phar`oh. 17 And the king came forth and ascended the steps of the throne, and Yoceph spoke unto the king in all languages, and Yoceph went up to him and spoke unto the king until he arrived before the king in the seventieth step, and he sat before the king.
Whoa! Yoceph speaks all 70 languages to Phar’oh the following day! Who but the RUACH is capable of accomplishing such a thing?
However, as we look at this passage, we see something very curious, for when the angel of YAHUAH had taught him all of the languages, he called his name Yahuceph! Well, what is this, and what are we to make of it?
Check this out:
Tehilliym (Psalm) 81:5-7
This he ordained in Yoceph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Mitsrayim: where I heard a language that I understood not. 6 I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots. 7 You called in trouble, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder: I proved you at the waters of Meriyvah. Celah.
Now, we see at first glance here, that Yoceph heard a language that he did not understand, or that was unfamiliar. But the ordinance of the New Moon was nonetheless given as a testimony. However, again, we find something in the Hebrew here that appears nowhere else in the Tanakh. The name Yoceph is not written here as Yoceph, but as Yahuceph (יהוסף) (the Complete Jewish Bible construes it as Y’hoceph). If you look, you see the yod-heh-vav; at the outset of the word, not the yod-vav; you see in the name Yoceph. This is something, isn’t it? The name, when it came to the knowing of language, was given as Yahuceph, both here in the Tehilliym (Psalms) and again in Yashar.
If you look closely at the passage in Hebrew, the passage may also construe another meaning:
Psalm 81:5 עדות (ayduth -testimony) ביהוסף (b’yahuceph – in Yahuceph) שׂמו (seemo – he put) בצאתו (b’yatsatho - in on) על (al - the) ארץ (erets – land of) מצרים (mitsrayim) שׂפת (sepheth – language) לא (lo) ידעתי (yadathi - of his knowledge) אשׁמע׃ (ashama - hear)
Testimony Yahuceph he put in on the land of Mitsrayim, language not known heard. This would be a direct translation.
Let’s return to what is being said here at the outset. Yoceph is giving a testimony concerning the choq (law) set forth is verse 81:3
Tehilliym (Psalm) 81:3
Blow the shofar on the dark New Moon today on our solemn feast.
As we have discussed earlier, this is the only passage which tells us when the month is to be reckoned. Again, the new moon is referred to here in the Hebrew as chodesh, which means critically, the renewed moon cycle, which this passage tells us renews in its darkness. David held this out in at least one instance as a sacred feast.
Shemu’el Rishon (1 Samuel) 20:5-6
And David said unto El-Yahunathan: Behold, tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at evening. 6 If your father at all miss me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Beyt Lechem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.
David’s reference here is to the word zebach (זבח) (Strong’s 2077), which means properly, a slaughter, that is, the flesh of an animal; by implication a sacrifice or offering. And while David’s practice may have been such that to his ways, such a feast (Chodesh) was a chag, or high feast, we find in Yovheliym, that the feasts of the New Moon were to be practiced four times a year, on the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth months of the year to herald the seasons:
Yovheliym (Jubilees) 6:23-28
And on the New Moon of the first month, and on the New Moon of the fourth month, and on the New Moon of the seventh month, and on the New Moon of the tenth month are the days of remembrance, and the days of the seasons in the four divisions of the year. These are written and ordained as a testimony forever.
When we look at this division into four seasons, is this considered previously?
Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 1:14
And ELOHIYM said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for appointed feasts, and for days, and years:
So it is that the Chodesh becomes an appointed feast four times a year. This was the complete testimony of Yahuceph given in Mitsrayim, in a language (Hebrew) which they did not know.
Since Yahuceph took the trouble to deliver this testimony even unto Mitsrayim, shouldn’t we consider it here? We begin our annual calculations of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter a bit differently, do we not? Rather than calculate the seasons on a solar-lunar calendar, we calculate the seasons on strictly a solar calendar:
Consider, however, that under the Biblical calendar, the season of Spring begins on the first day of the first month which could be many days (and at least 16) earlier. This of course renders the seasons earlier in every respect, which would change planting cycles for those in agriculture.
- All dates are taken from the Yom Qodesh, 2nd Edition
This tells us that we are in for an early fall, and an early winter in 2016. We certainly experienced an early spring this year, as the barley was in aviv on March 9 (and harvested and gone by April 9), and the wheat was harvested by May 17, and completely gone by June 17, rendering the feasts (1st Passover) in March, not April, and rendering the fall feasts in September, not October. Let us see if the weather is consistent with this forecast.
For those of you who intend to recognize the Chodesh as a chag (solemn feast) during these four times of the year, let us consider the words of MASHIACH:
Husha (Hosea) 6:6
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of ELOHIYM more than burnt offerings.
Mattithyahu (Matthew) 9:12-13
But when YAHUSHA heard that, he said unto them: They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13 But go ye and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Mattithyahu (Matthew) 12:7
But if ye had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned את eth the guiltless.
We conclude with the following understanding: For those who believe that Yashar was a document created by an English author, consider that the rendering of the name Yahuceph appears only in the Hebrew (and a close transliteration in the Complete Jewish Bible from post-modernity). No other author but one translating from a Hebrew manuscript would have found this spelling and this anomaly in the spelling of the name.
We can conclude that Yashar is a second witness to the writing of David in Tehilliym (Psalm) 81, and that David is a second witness to this rendition of Yashar in its Chapter 49, which puts a beautiful ending to the rise of Yoceph in Mitsrayim, and gives us a tremendous foreshadow to the coming Ben Yoceph, the Ben Adam, and the Ben ELOHIYM, YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH.
There are now two witnesses to the name Yahuceph.