Jubilees 32:3


2 And Jacob rose early in the morning, on the fourteenth of this month, and he gave a tithe of all that came with him, both of men and cattle, both of gold and every vessel and garment, yea, he gave tithes of all. 3 And in those days Rachel became pregnant with her son Benjamin. And Jacob counted his sons from him upwards and Levi fell to the portion of the Lord, and his father clothed him in the garments of the priesthood and filled his hands. 4 And on the fifteenth of this month, he brought to the altar fourteen oxen from amongst the cattle, and twenty-eight rams, and forty-nine sheep, and seven lambs, and twenty-one kids of the goats as a burnt-offering on the altar of sacrifice, well pleasing for a sweet savour before God.

Pseudo Jonathan Genesis 32:25


And he said, Hast thou not promised to give the tenth of all that is thine? And, behold, thou hast ten sons and one daughter: nevertheless thou hast not tithed them. Immediately he set apart the four firstborn of the four mothers, and there remained eight. And he began to number from Shimeon, and Levi came up for the tenth. Michael answered and said, Lord of the world is Thy lot. And on account of these things he (Michael) remained from God at the torrent till the column of the morning was ascending.

 Notes and References

"... This mention of Jacob’s tithe serves as an introduction to another, quite separate tradition about how Levi came to be the priestly tribe. At that time Rachel became pregnant her son Benjamin, and Jacob counted his sons for the purpose of giving God a tithe of his sons as well. Counting backwards from his twelfth son, Benjamin (then in utero), he arrived at Levi who, as number ten, therefore ought to be given to God as part of Jacob’s vow to return to God a tenth of all he had acquired; in other words, Levi was a human tithe (compare Pirqei de R. Eliezer 37, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan Genesis 32:25), a further confirmation of his selection. Jacob therefore put priestly clothes on him (no doubt given to him by Isaac) and ordained him for the priesthood (literally “filled his hands,” the biblical idiom for “ordain”) ..."

Kugel, James L. A Walk through Jubilees: Studies in the Book of Jubilees and the World of Its Creation (p. 152) Brill, 2012

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.