Book of Jasher (Biblical references)

The Book of Jasher is the normal English name (used by e.g. the King James Bible) of a work known in the original Hebrew as Sefer haYashar, (ספר הישר; also transliterated "Sēper haiYāšār"). It is the best-known of several "Lost books of the Old Testament", books referenced in the Hebrew Bible of which no copies are known to exist. The original Hebrew translates as "Book of the Upright".

Joshua 10:13 states:

::And the Sun stood still, and the Moon stayed,::until the people had avenged themselves on their enemies.:Is this not written in the "Book of the Upright" ("Sēper haiYāšār")?

2 Samuel 1:18 states:

:To teach the Sons of Judah the use of the bow; behold it is written in the "Book of the Upright" ("Sēper haiYāšār"). /David's lament for Jonathan immediately follows./

The Septuagint translation renders "sefer hayashar" in both cases as 'Book of the Just'. The reference to the bow is here missing so that the text reads:

:And he gave orders to teach it the sons of Iouda: behold it is written in the Book of the Just.

The Vulgate Latin text has "in libro justorum" in both citations. In 2 Samuel the Syriac texts have "Ashir" which indicates a Hebrew reading of "ha-shîr" 'the song' and in Joshua the Syriac has "Book of Praises".

The Targum on both passages has "Book of the Law". Yet the King James English translation rendered "haiyashar" as "Jasher", removing the definite article and changing the second vowel. Some more recent translations render instead "Jashar" which at least restores the correct "a" vowel.

External links

* [http://www.strangehorizons.com/2003/20030317/jashar.shtml Fictional Reference]


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