Testament of Reuben 2:7

Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs

3 Even until now my conscience causeth me anguish on account of my impiety. 4 And yet my father comforted me much, and prayed for me unto the Lord, that the anger of the Lord might pass from me, even as the Lord showed. 5 And thenceforth until now I have been on my guard and sinned not. 6 Therefore, my children, I say unto you, observe all things whatsoever I command you, and ye shall not sin. 7 For a pit unto the soul is the sin of fornication, separating it from God, and bringing it near to idols, because it deceiveth the mind and understanding, and leadeth down young men into Hades before their time. 8 For many hath fornication destroyed; because, though a man be old or noble, or rich or poor, he bringeth reproach upon himself with the sons of men and derision with Beliar.

Origen Homilies on Joshua 15 6


For if Satan is one, how can he both be crushed under the feet of the servants of God and also take action again? For if he has been crushed, and crushed by God, he certainly is no longer able to act. Therefore, perhaps there must be as many Satans as there are those who do the works of Satan. For this seems to me to be indicated also in the book of Wisdom, where it is said, “The impious who curse Satan are cursing their own soul.” But also in a certain other little book that is called the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, although it is not considered part of the canon, we nevertheless discover the same such meaning—that individual Satans ought to be understood in individual sinners. But, more clearly, as those of the Hebrews who are learned teach, the very interpretation of his name seems to signify this same thing. For Satan is called “adversary.” Therefore, all who are against the will of God can be called Satans. We have said these things because it is written, “The Lord strengthened their hearts so that they might go out to the battle against Israel and be exterminated.”

 Notes and References

"... The extent to which the present Christian work [Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs] depends on preexisting sources and incorporates older traditions remains a matter of scholarly debate. All that can be stated with certainty is that it was written in Greek, probably in the early second century CE, since it is quoted by the church father Origen in about 250 CE. It therefore provides significant evidence for the theological views and ethical values current among Christians at that time ..."

Docherty, Susan E. The Jewish Pseudepigrapha: An Introduction to the Literature of the Second Temple Period (pp. 94-95) Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2014

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