Translated from the Hebrew texts published by Adolph Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrasch: Sammlung kleiner Midraschim und vermischler Abhandlungen aus der ältern jüdischen Literatur (6 vols.; repr., Jerusalem: Bamberger & Wahrmann, 1938), 3:155-160. He has here combined three separate but conceptually cognate compositions: (1) The prologue to the so-called Sefer Asaf ha-Rofe, wherein a pharmacology and book of medical lore is revealed to Noah by the angel Raphael after the Flood; (2) an apocryphal penitential ‘Prayer of Adam’ which results in the revelation by the angel Raziel of a ‘holy book’ containing arcane knowledge to him; and (3) the prologue to Sefer ha-Razim, a notorious magical grimoire whose genealogy is traced to a book revealed by the angel Raziel to Noah immediately before the Flood. More distantly related but nonetheless important are the various tales about Adam’s post-expulsion penitence and subsequent revelatory events featured in eastern Christian texts like the Testament of Adam, the isolated anecdotes in the Zohar about Raziel’s gift of a ‘book’ to Adam, and the genealogy of religio-medical lore supplied by the Christian chronographer Bar Hebraeus.
This is the book of remedies which the ancient sages copied from the book of Shem b. Noah which had been given to Noah on Mt. Lubar, one of the mountains of Ararat, after the Flood. For in those days and at that time the ‘miscegenate-spirits’ began to attack the descendants of Noah: maddening and leading astray and destroying and smiting humanity with sicknesses, pains, and all sorts of mortal and debilitating illnesses. Then all the children and grandchildren of Noah came together and recounted their afflictions to Noah their ancestor, and they spoke to him about the diseases appearing among their children.
Then Noah was dismayed, for he knew that it was due to the sinfulness of humanity and to the manner of their transgressions that they were being subjected to all kinds of diseases and illnesses. So Noah sanctified his sons and the members of each and every household all together, and he approached the altar, offered burnt offerings, prayed to God, and entreated Him. He dispatched an angel from among the Angels of the Presence – one of the Holy Ones whose name was Raphael – to eradicate the ‘miscegenate-spirits’ from beneath the heavens so that they might not continue harming humanity. The angel did so. He sequestered them in a chamber for judgment; however, he allowed one-tenth of their number to roam about the earth freely before Prince Mastema to chastise those humans who were being wicked, to afflict and to subject them to all kinds of illness and disease, and to inflict painful torments.
The angel told him the remedies for the afflictions of humankind and all kinds of remedies for healing with trees of the earth and plants of the soil and their roots. And he sent the leaders of the remaining spirits to show Noah the medicinal trees with all their shoots, greenery, grasses, roots, and seeds, to explain to him why they were created, and to teach him all their medicinal properties for healing and for vitality. Noah wrote all these things in a book and gave it to Shem, his oldest son, and the ancient sages copied from this book and wrote many books, each one in his own language. Knowledge about medicine increased on the earth among all the nations who examined the books of remedies, particularly among the sages of India, Macedonia, and Egypt, for the sages of India traveled about in quest of every kind of medicinal tree and spice, and the sages of Aram discovered the medicinal properties of all the different kinds of plants and their seeds, and they translated into Aramaic an explanation for the contents of the books.
The sages of Macedonia were the first to begin practicing medicine on earth, whereas the sages of Egypt began to use magical charms and to divine future events with constellations and with stars. They also began to learn the expository book of the Chaldeans which Qangar b. ’Ur b. Kesed had translated regarding every magical practice. Their wisdom continued growing for them until there arose Asclepius, one of the sages of Macedon, and forty people with him from the magicians, who were adept in the translated books. They were continually traveling throughout the earth. They crossed over to the far side of India to the land east of Eden searching for some fragments of the Tree of Life in order to increase their fame over that of the other sages of the earth. And when they had entered that place, they discovered medicinal trees and fragments of the Tree of Life, and they stretched out their hands to acquire them. But the Lord flashed a ‘flame of the revolving sword’ upon them, and all of them were set ablaze by sparks of lightning. Not a single one of them escaped. Hence the science of healing was abandoned by the physicians, and the wisdom of the physicians ceased to expand for six hundred and thirty years until the reign of King Artaxerxes. During his era there arose a man who was discerning and wise and learned in the knowledge of the books of remedies and who understood everything: his name was Hippocrates the Macedonian. The rest of the sages of the nations include Asaf the Judean, Dioscorides the Cilician, and Galen the Cretan, along with many other sages. Together they renewed the luster of medicine, and it continues to enjoy prestige until this day.
This is the prayer of Adam the Protoplast which he prayed at the time when he had been expelled from the Garden of Eden and before He had given to him this holy book. He begged for mercy before the Omnipotent One and said: O Lord, God of the universe! You created the entire universe to adorn a powerful majesty, and You acted in accordance with Your will. Your kingdom lasts eternally, and Your grandeur endures throughout every generation. There is nothing concealed from You nor hidden from Your sight. You established me by the action of Your hands, and You granted me authority over all Your creatures to serve as ruler over Your works. But the accursedly clever serpent deceived me with the delightfully desirable tree, and my bosom wife also deceived me, and she did not disclose to me what would happen or what would be the result for my descendants or what would come upon me and the generations who are coming after me. I realize and understand that no living entity is innocent before You. What power do I have to seek refuge with You? I lack a mouth to respond or to speak, or an eye to lift upwards, for I have sinned and am guilty, and because of my transgression I have today been expelled. Behold, I must now break and till the earth in servitude to that from which I was originally taken, and fear of me and awe of me is no longer on those who dwell on the earth as it was in the beginning, for from the moment that I ate from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and transgressed against Your words, my wisdom was taken from me. I am stupid and have no knowledge; I am a fool and do not understand what is going to happen.
And now, O merciful and gracious God, may Your plentiful mercies return unto the head of Your created beings, and unto the breath which You breathed, and unto the life which You gave. Welcome me with Your charity, for You are kind, patient, and full of mercy. May my prayer ascend before Your throne of glory, and may my cry reach Your throne of mercies, and may You be gracious to me! ‘May the sayings of my mouth be pleasing before You!’. ‘Do not ignore my supplication!’. You Who have existed and will continue to exist forever, You Who have ruled and will continue to rule – please have compassion on the work of Your hands! Instruct me and make known to me what is going to happen to my progeny and to my descendants, and what is about to come upon me each and every day and each and every month. Do not conceal the wisdom of Your Watchers and Your angels from me!’
After he engaged in entreaty for thirty days, the angel Raziel – the one enthroned above the river that flows out of Gan Eden – came to him and revealed information to him until the darkening of the sun. In his hand was a book. He said to him: ‘Adam, why are you alarmed? Why are you mournful and worried? Your words were heard from the day that you began to stand in prayer and in supplication. I have come to instruct you using clear words and much wisdom and to make you learned in the words of this sacred book. With them you will gain knowledge about what will happen to you up to the day of your death! And any one of your children who arises in your stead and all the latter generations who treat this book as you do – with purity of flesh, humility of spirit, and doing everything that is inscribed in it – will gain knowledge of what is coming during each and every month, whether day or night, and everything will be revealed to such a one. That individual will discern and know if there will be misfortune or famine or severe disorder or heavy rain or drought, or if the harvest will be plentiful or scarce, or if criminals will gain authority in the world, or if there will be locust swarms or infestation, or when a tree will drop its fruits, or if there will be a plague of boils among humans, or if there will be wars, or if there will be sufferings, or if death will gain control of humans or livestock, or if a favorable or unfavorable decree has gone forth from on high, or if blood will be shed or the wounded will groan in the city. Now you – Adam – approach more closely, and I will disclose to you the manner of this book and its sacral qualities.’
The angel Raziel opened the book and read it aloud to Adam, and when he heard the words of that sacred book from the mouth of the angel Raziel, he collapsed face-down, quivering. Then he said: ‘Adam! Get up! Be strong! Do not be afraid and do not fear! Take this book from my hand, yet be careful with it, for you will gain knowledge and insight from it, and you will recognize everyone who is worthy of it and what their fate will be.’ And at the moment that Adam received this book, a fire was kindled upon the bank of the river, and the angel ascended on a flame of fire toward Heaven. Then Adam understood and realized that he was an angel of God, and that this book had been dispatched from the presence of the Holy King. So he took hold of it in sanctity and in purity.
After four generations there arose Enoch b. Yared, and he paid heed to the fear of God. He conducted himself in purity: he would bathe and consecrate himself in running water, and he would plead in supplication before the Creator of all. There was revealed to him in a dream the place where there was hidden a book within which was the way by which he should conduct himself and what his task was and how he might hallow his purification ritual. He arose early and went to the cave and waited until noon. Due to the strength of the sun, he went in there by himself so that the people of the place would not observe him. He beseeched the Blessed Deity and ascended in purity. He acquired possession of the Pure Name, and at the moment that he understood it, his eyes illuminated all his paths. He guided himself with it and continued until he became like one of the supernal holy ones and was removed from the inhabitants of the earth. ‘And he was no more, for God took him’.
For using this book makes one wise and makes one astute with regard to the cycles and the constellations and all the heavenly luminaries which officiate in each and every month and the names which are invoked for every cycle and for the ministering angels during the four seasons of the year. It teaches the names for the earth and the names for the heavens and even the names for the sun and the moon. He continued to venerate it with all his energy, and he gained insight into every type of wisdom, more even than Adam the Protoplast. But he discerned that the generations who would come after him would not have the strength to persist with it, for he had become powerful and exalted. So he hid it until the advent of Noah b. Lamech, ‘a righteous man who was perfect among his generations’. And in the five hundredth year of his life, the earth was being destroyed by the violent behavior of those generations, for ‘all flesh had corrupted its way on the earth’, and the anguished cry of the earth ascended to heaven before the Throne of Glory of the Holy One, blessed be He. ‘Noah however found favor in the sight of the Lord’.
Afterwards the holy prince Raphael was sent to him, and he said to him: ‘I have been dispatched with a message of God for you in order to heal the earth and to disclose what is going to happen and what one should do in order to escape the coming destruction.’ Then he gave him this sacred book and he taught him how he should behave with it and what his task was and how he might hallow his purification ritual.
He said to him: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, for you have been found to be “a righteous man who is perfect among his generations”. Behold, I have given you this sacred book, and I will reveal to you all of its secrets and its arcana in order to perform it in sanctity and in purity and with chastity and with humility. From it you will learn how to work the gofer-wood, and then you will enter – “you, your sons, your wife, and the wives of your sons” – to conceal yourselves for a short while until the wrath passes by.’ So Noah took the book from the hand of the holy prince Raphael, and at the moment that he understood the characters engraved in it, the spirit of the Lord rested upon him. He built the ark in length and in breadth using the knowledge which he discerned in this sacred book. Then it was heard by him: ‘You and all of your household, enter into the ark, for I have seen that you are righteous’.
Then Noah b. Lamech concealed the book before Me. They entered the ark. He understood all its characters, and he perceived how to bring into the ark the animals whether two or seven pairs, ‘each with its mate’. ‘And the Lord closed the door of the ark behind him’. ‘There was a Flood for forty days’ and forty nights. Then he opened his mouth in a spirit of wisdom and understanding, and he offered praise to the Lord God, the great, mighty, and awesome ruler.
He said: ‘Blessed be the Lord who has granted some of His wisdom to those who revere His Name! Blessed be He Who has made awe of Him to rule over humankind, Who delivers the lives of His faithful ones, Who conceals those taking shelter in His shade, and Who preserves a remnant for revivification; the One Who bestows upon His servants a spirit of intellect and understanding which permits communication with all people, beasts, animals, birds, and fish in order to disclose to them Your power and the magnitude of Your might!’ From the wealth of knowledge which He taught with this book, he was able to know whether it was day or night, and he knew the feeding schedule of each and every animal at its proper time. His prayer was heard before the Throne of Glory, ‘and He remembered’ him and all ‘who were with him on the ark’. ‘And God made a wind pass over the earth, and the waters abated’, ‘and the ark came to rest’ on that month ‘on the mountains of Ararat’.
Noah continued comporting himself using the wisdom of this book, and he revealed to his son Shem that he had learned about the ark from it. Therefore his son Shem used it and took possession of it after him in his practice of sanctification. Shem passed it on to Abraham, and Abraham to Isaac, and Isaac to Jacob, and Jacob to Levi, and Levi to Moses, and Moses to Aaron, and Aaron to Pinḥas, and Pinḥas transmitted it to his son and to all subsequent generations, one after the other.
This is the book from the books of the mysteries – the one which was given to Noah b. Lamech b. Methuselah b. Enoch b. Yared b. Mahalalel b. Kenan b. Enosh b. Seth b. Adam from the oral instruction of the angel Raziel in the year that he entered the ark, before he boarded it. He inscribed it very clearly on a sapphire stone. From it he learned the performance of marvels, the secrets of gnosis, the degrees of understanding, the cares of humility, and the thoughts of deliberation in order to attend to the investigation of the supernal heights; to roam about among all that is in the seven heavenly levels; to observe all the constellations; to discern the course of the sun; to explain examinations of the moon; to gain knowledge of the paths of the Great Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades; and to state what are the names for the officiating entities of each and every firmament and their governance, and by what means they might make any matter prosper, and what are the names of their attendants, and what libation should be poured out for them, and what is the period when you will be heard by them so that all who approach them in purity have every desire accomplished. He came to know from it a spell for death and a spell for life; how to discern what is ominous and what is favorable; how to examine times and moments to know the time of birth and the time of death, the time for injury and the time for healing; how to interpret dreams and visions; how to stir up strife and to quell battles; how to exercise control over spirits and demons in order to dispatch them and they go off on their missions like servants; how to gaze at what is happening among the four directions of the earth; how to become learned in the sound of thunders in order to report what was done by lightning flashes; how to declare what is going to happen in each and every month; how to understand the affairs of each and every year, whether there will be surfeit or famine, harvest or drought, peace or strife; and how to become like one of the awesome ones and gain understanding of the celestial hymns. And it was from knowledge of the arcana in this book that Noah learned and understood how to make the gofer-wood into an ark, and how to conceal himself from the flood waters of the Deluge, and how to bring along with him animal life two-by-two and seven-by-seven, and how to bring in some of every kind of foodstuff and every kind of provision. He placed the book in a golden box and brought it initially into the ark in order to determine from it the different times of the day and to find out from it the different times of the night and at which times he should arise to entreat God. And when they had emerged from the ark, he continued to use it all the days of his life. At the time of his death, he passed it on to Abraham, and Abraham to Isaac, and Isaac to Jacob, and Jacob to Levi, and Levi to Qahat, and Qahat to ‘Amram, and ‘Amram to Moses, and Moses to Joshua, and Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets, and the prophets to the Sages, and so it was passed down through each and every generation until the advent of King Solomon. Now books of mysteries had been revealed to him, and he was exceedingly adept in books of wisdom, and he exercised control over all the spirits and demons who would roam about the world performing his every desire – due to the wisdom of this book, he bound and he loosed; he dispatched and introduced; and he built and experienced success. Although many books had been handed down into his custody, this one was found to be more precious, valuable, and wondrous than all the rest of them. Happy is the eye that sees, happy is the ear that attentively listens to its wisdom, for the seven heavens and everything which they contain is within it! From their camps we will learn to understand everything and to succeed in every endeavor, to think and to act using the wisdom of this book.
THE SON OF SAMAEL
Translated from the Hebrew text published by Louis Ginzberg, “Beno shel Samael,” Ha-Goren 9 (1913): 38-41; reprinted in idem, ‘Al halakhah wa-aggadah (Tel Aviv: Devir, 1960), 227-28. He says he copied it from a Yemenite manuscript maḥzor in the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary.
‘For the inclination of the heart of humanity is wicked from their youth’. I will now reveal to you the secret of this verse.
At the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, created His world, Samael came down to earth and with him was what appeared to be a small boy. He went to Eve and said to her: ‘Can my son stay with you while I make a journey to a distant place?’ She said to him: ‘He may stay.’ Then Samael went on his way.
Now on that day Adam the Protoplast had been walking about in the Garden of Eden. The moment Adam came back to his house, he saw that boy crying. He said to Eve his wife: ‘Whose son is this?’ She said to him: ‘He is the son of Samael.’ He said to her: ‘Why must we put up with this trouble?’ Now the boy kept weeping ever more loudly and bitterly to the point that he was aggravating Adam the Protoplast. What did Adam the Protoplast do? He arose and slaughtered him, but the boy continued weeping all the more! Adam the Protoplast again arose and chopped him up into little pieces, but afterwards each piece was individually screaming! What did Adam the Protoplast do? He again arose and cooked him, and he and Eve his wife ate him.
As soon as Samael realized that they had eaten his son, he came to them and said to them: ‘Give me back my son, and I will be on my way.’ They said to him: ‘We have not seen him, nor do we know where he is.’ He said to them: ‘Are you telling a lie!? The Holy One, blessed be He, will eventually give the Torah to Israel, and it is written within it that you should keep your distance from one telling a lie!!’ While they were talking, the son of Samael began speaking from within Adam and Eve, saying to Samael: ‘Go on your way. I have now entered into their heart, and I will never depart from their heart, whether they or their descendants or the descendants of their descendants until the end of all generations.’ At that time Samael went on his way.
Thereupon Adam the Protoplast was sad, and he put on sackcloth and ashes. He was afflicting himself with innumerable periods of fasting until the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself unto him and said to him: ‘My son, do not be afraid of him! I am providing for you a remedy, for he came to you only as My emissary.’ He said to him: ‘What is this remedy that you are giving to me?’ He said to him: ‘The Torah.’ He said to him: ‘Where is the Torah?’ At that time he handed over to him the Book of Raziel the Angel, and he was studying it both day and night.
After some time the ministering angels came to Adam the Protoplast, for they were jealous of him. They told him that he was a divinity superior to them and were worshiping him. But Adam the Protoplast said to them: ‘Do not be worshiping me! Magnify the Lord your God with me, and let us extol His Name together, for I also like you am a created being!’ What did the ministering angels do? On account of the great jealousy they felt toward Adam the Protoplast, they took from him the book which the Holy One, blessed be He, had given to him and pitched it in the sea. They then went on their way.
Adam the Protoplast searched for the book but could not find it. He was highly distressed, and put on sackcloth and ashes. He afflicted himself with innumerable periods of fasting until the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself unto him from the supernal heavens and said to him: ‘Do not fear! I will restore the book to you!’ At that time the Holy One, blessed be He, summoned the Prince of the Sea and said to him: ‘Go under My agency to the sea, rescue the book, and give it to Adam the Protoplast!’ The Prince of the Sea, whose name is Rahab, went and rescued the book and gave it to Adam the Protoplast. It is the one mentioned in the verse ‘this is the book of the generations of Adam’. May the Lord, blessed be He, deliver us from the evil inclination! Amen, may God’s will be done!
THE CHRONICLES OF MOSES OUR TEACHER
Translated from the edition published by A. Jellinek, ed., Bet ha-Midrasch (6 vols.; Leipzig and Vienna, 1853-77; reprinted, Jerusalem: Bamberger & Wahrmann, 1938), 2.1-11. A briefer version of this legend was published by A. Shinan, Hasifrut 24 (1977), 100-116.
In the 130th year after the descent of the children of Israel to Egypt, at the conclusion of the sixtieth year after the death of Joseph, Pharaoh dreamed a dream. An old man was standing in front of him in the dream with a pair of scales in his hand. In one pan of the scales he placed all the inhabitants of Egypt—men, women, and children—and in the other pan he set only one child, and that child was equal to the entire population of Egypt. He was astonished and disturbed at this wonder, and he marveled at this great sight, and then Pharaoh awoke and realized that it was a dream. He assembled all the sages of Egypt and all of its diviners, and recounted to them the details of the dream. Everyone was very much awestruck by the dream, until one of the princes came before the king and said to him, ‘This dream portends a mighty and terrible evil for Egypt!’ The king said, ‘How so?’ He responded, ‘A son will be born among the children of Israel who will destroy all of Egypt. And now, my lord king, allow me to offer you some good advice. You should issue orders that they should kill every son who is born among the children of Israel. Then perhaps this dream will not come true.’
This word of advice pleased Pharaoh and his attendants, and so the king of Egypt summoned the Hebrew midwives ‘one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, and commanded "When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the birth-stool, if it is a son, you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, she shall live." But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. So the king of Egypt called the midwives, and said to them, "Why have you done this, and let the male children live?" The midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and are delivered before the midwife comes to them—they are vigorous like wild animals who have no need for midwives!"’ So Pharaoh commanded all his people, ‘Every son that is born to the Israelites you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live’.
When the Israelites learned of this decree which Pharaoh had commanded—namely, to cast their newborn sons into the Nile—some of them separated themselves from their wives, but some of them continued normal sexual activity as before, and their wives gave birth to sons. They would leave their children in the field, and the Lord who swore an oath to their ancestor to make his descendants as numerous as the dust of the earth sent down angels to wash them, anoint them with oil, and swaddle them. They set down two smooth pebbles next to them: from one they could suck milk, and from the other eat honey. The angels caused their hair to grow so that it came down to their knees and covered them. They played with them and pampered them for God had pity on them. Out of His pity for them He determined to increase their number on the surface of the entire world, and so He commanded the earth to receive them and protect them until they matured. Eventually the earth would open and regurgitate them and they would flourish like the grass of the field, and be reunited with father and family.
Moreover, they constructed booths in the fields and concealed them there, and the Egyptians were plowing over them, but they were unable to injure them, as it is written, ‘on my back the plowers plowed ...’.
There was a man in Egypt whose name was ‘Amram b. Qahat b. Levi b. Israel, and he took Yochebed his aunt as his wife. The woman conceived and bore a daughter, and she named her Miriam, because at that time the Egyptians, the descendants of Ham, began to embitter the lives of the children of Israel. She conceived again and bore a son, and named him Aaron, because it was during the time of the pregnancy that Pharaoh began to shed the blood of their male infants, some of whom he caused to be cast into the Nile. However the Lord showed favor to them: not a single one of those who were cast into the Nile perished, for they were revived by God. And whomever they cast out into the open field would be rescued and nurtured by the ministering angels, and they would return to their parents as mature young men.
When the royal decree and ruling concerning the throwing of newborn sons into the Nile was promulgated, many of the people separated themselves from their wives, and ‘Amram also parted from his wife. It came to pass after three years that the spirit of God came upon Miriam, and she prophesied in the house saying, ‘At this time a son will be born to my father and mother who is destined to deliver the children of Israel from the power of Egypt!’ When ‘Amram heard the girl’s message, he rejoined his wife from whom he had previously separated at the time of the decree three years ago. Yochebed became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and at the moment of his birth the house was filled with a great light like the light of the sun and moon at the time of their rising. She perceived that the child was handsome and pleasing in appearance, and hid him for three months in her bedroom.
At that time the Egyptians had concocted a devious plan to destroy all the Israelite newborn sons. Egyptian women would come to the area of Goshen where the Israelites lived carrying upon their shoulders their own children who were not yet old enough to speak intelligibly, in order to raise and educate them. Any Israelite woman who had borne a son hid her child from these Egyptians so as not to endanger him. However, when an Egyptian woman entered an Israelite home, the Egyptian infant would often stutter and gurgle, and the Israelite infant hidden in the bedroom would audibly respond in a similar manner. The Egyptian wives would then return and inform their husbands, who would in turn make a report to the king, and Pharaoh would send his officers to seize the boy.
Three months after Yochebed had given birth to the child, the matter became known to the palace, and so she acted quickly before the officers arrived. She took a reed-basket and placed the child inside it and set it on the bank of the Nile. She stationed his sister a short distance away .... And God sent intense heat and hot weather throughout the land of Egypt, and human flesh burned like the temperature of the sun when it is at its hottest, and they suffered on account of the great heat. The daughter of Pharaoh came down along with all the women of Egypt to the bank of the Nile in order to bathe as was their custom, and she saw the basket floating on the surface of the water. She dispatched her maid to retrieve it, and she opened it and saw the child. And when the women of Egypt who had come down to the Nile approached in order to nurse him, he refused to nurse from them, for the Lord did this in order to restore him to the breasts of his mother. His sister asked the daughter of Pharaoh, ‘Shall I go and summon for you a nursemaid from the Israelites?’ She responded, ‘Go!’ She went and summoned his mother. She said, ‘Take the child and nurse him for me, and I will pay you a wage of two silver pieces daily.’ Two years later she brought him to the daughter of Pharaoh, and he became her son, and she named him Moses, ‘because I drew him up out of the water’. His father named him Hever, because it was on his account that he was reunited with his wife; his mother named him Jekuthiel because she suckled him herself; his sister named him Jered because she descended to him at the river in order to learn his fate; Aaron named him Avi Zanoah because ‘my father abandoned my mother and then returned to her due to this one’; Qahat his grandfather named him Avi Gedor because it was due to him that God repaired a breach in the security of Israel, for the Egyptians would no longer cast their male infants into the Nile; his nanny named him Avi Soco because God concealed him in thatch-work from the enmity of the Egyptians; and Israel named him Shemayah ben Natanel for it was in his time that God hearkened to their groans.
When Moses was three years old, Pharaoh was seated at his table ready to eat. The queen was seated on his right, and Bityah his daughter was on his left side, and his officials and servants were seated before him. The little boy was sitting with Bityah the daughter of Pharaoh. He suddenly reached out his hand and snatched the crown off the king’s head and placed it on his own head. The king and his officials were startled by this action, and each looked at his neighbor in astonishment. Then Balaam the diviner, one of the royal officials and counselors, said: ‘Remember, my lord king, the dream which you dreamed and the interpretation which your servant provided you! Are you not aware that this child is one of the Israelite infants? The spirit of God is in him, and it is due to His wisdom that he has acted in this way. This must be he who will destroy Egypt. Now let the king act quickly and give the order to behead him!’ The advice pleased the king and his friends. However, the Lord dispatched the angel Gabriel, and he appeared to them in the guise of one of the royal officials and friends, and said: ‘No, my lord king, to put to death one who is innocent is not good advice! A mere child has no sense! Instead, let the king order to be brought before him a shiny precious jewel and a fiery coal. If he stretches out his hand to grab the precious jewel, then it is proven that he possesses sense and therefore deserves death or whatever judgment is meted out to him. If he reaches out and grabs the burning coal, then it is demonstrated that he has no sense and is innocent.’ All of the royal sages responded and said, ‘This is good advice.’
They thereupon brought before him the precious stone and the burning coal. The boy reached out his hand in order to grab the jewel, but an angel shoved his hand and he picked up the coal and brought it toward his face, touching with it his lips and tongue, and was hence rendered ‘heavy of lips’ and ‘heavy of tongue’. But by this ruse he was saved.
The king took counsel with his advisors, saying ‘What should we do about Israel, for they are becoming more numerous with each passing day!’ His wife told him, ‘Do whatever you like! Is not the entire land yours?’ Balaam then spoke up and said to the king, ‘Are you not aware that all the accomplishments of this nation were effected via trickery and deception? Their ancestor Jacob tricked his brother Esau and took possession of the latter’s birthright, and he deceitfully approached his father and took away his blessing. Then he fled to Laban: he gave him two of his daughters in marriage, but Jacob looted his flock and all the other creatures he owned! Their ancestor Isaac sojourned for a while in Gerar where he perpetrated a hoax on the men of the place by saying of his wife "She’s my sister." Using this trick he acquired all their goods and their wealth, and then departed. The sons of Jacob behaved similarly with regard to Shechem and Hamor, for they told them they must have themselves circumcised, and they did so. But three days later while they were still disabled, the sons of Jacob gathered against them, ran them through with their swords, and looted and pilfered all their property. Now, my advice if you decide to take it, would be to not kill them with weaponry, but to instead increase the severity of the sufferings which they are experiencing so that they eventually self-destruct.’ This advice was pleasing to Pharaoh and his servants.
Then Jethro the Midianite spoke up and said to him, ‘My lord king, surely you are aware that all who have threatened them with harm have not escaped punishment?! Do you not know or have you not heard what happened to Pharaoh for taking Sarah, the wife of Abraham similarly with regard to Isaac? Or also what happened to the four kings in the case of Abraham’s nephew, i.e., Lot? Or what happened to Laban? No person who has threatened them with harm has escaped punishment!’ But the king burst out angrily against Jethro the Midianite, saying to him: ‘Get out! Depart to your place!’ So he left.
It came to pass after God had delivered the boy Moses that the Egyptians did not kill him, and he remained in the royal household clad in royal garments and wearing a jewel on his head. All the officers of the king would bear him in a litter. After Moses had spent fifteen years growing up in Pharaoh’s household, the youth resolved to see the faces of his father and his mother. ‘He beheld their hard labors. He also beheld an Egyptian man striking a Hebrew man, one of his kinsmen’. It happened that when the victim saw Moses, he ran toward him in order to solicit his aid, for Moses was of high rank and very important in Pharaoh’s household. He said to him, ‘My lord! This Egyptian came to my house at night, tied me up, and sexually assaulted my wife in my presence! Now he is trying to kill me!’ When Moses heard this terrible thing, he lost his temper. ‘Turning this way and that and seeing that no one else was present, he struck down the Egyptian’ and saved the Hebrew from the power of his assailant. Moses then returned to the royal palace, and the Hebrew man returned to his house. As soon as the man arrived home, he decided to divorce his wife since he was no longer prepared to have sexual relations with her after she had been defiled. The woman departed and informed her brothers, who thereupon sought to kill him, but he went inside his house and escaped.
The following day Moses went out to be among his kinsmen and view their hard labors. He saw ‘two Hebrew men fighting, and he said to the aggressor, "Why are you hitting your friend?" He answered, "Who appointed you as an official or judge over us? Do you intend to kill me just as you killed the Egyptian?"’. ‘Pharaoh heard about this matter and sought to kill Moses’, and he handed him over to the executioner in order to put him to death, but the blade had no effect on him, for the Holy One, blessed be He, performed a miracle for him by making his neck like a marble column. This is what Moses was referring to when Eliezer was born when he said ‘for the God of my ancestors helped me’, and this is what the Holy One, blessed be He, was talking about when he had refused His commission and said to Him, ‘Please send somebody else! The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him: ‘Who put a mouth on the man?’; that is to say, who instructed you what to say when you were on trial before Pharaoh about the slain Egyptian? ‘Or who makes him mute?’; that is to say, who muted Pharaoh so that he could not vocally insist on the command to execute you? ‘Or deaf’; i.e., who made his servants deaf so that they could not hear his decree regarding you to execute you? Who blinded them so that they could not see you when you fled the palace and escaped? What did God do? He sent Michael, the prince of the celestial host, disguised as the captain of the guard. He used his sword to kill the actual captain of the guard, and then changed his likeness to that of Moses. The angel then grasped the hand of Moses and conducted him out of Egypt, and led him beyond the Egyptian border a distance of three days’ journey.
Only Aaron remained behind, and he prophesied within Egypt and spoke to the children of Israel, saying: ‘"Each of you toss aside the abominations of his eyes"; do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt!’ which accords with what is written, ‘and the house of Israel rebelled against Me, and they were unwilling to obey’; ‘so the Lord planned to destroy them were it not for Moses His chosen one’, and had He not remembered the covenant with their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The hand of Pharaoh took hold of them to afflict them, and his oppression of the children of Israel grew increasingly harsher. He continued to oppress them until the time He sent out His word and attended to them. And when Balaam saw that his advice was not being taken, and that no decree in line with the wicked plan which he concocted to effect the annihilation of the children of Israel had been issued, he left Egypt and traveled to King Nīqanōs, accompanied by two of his sons, Yanēs and Mamrēs. King Nīqanōs was the ruler of Edom. In those days there was a battle between Cush and the Qedemites, and he captured as a result of it a large group of prisoners, whom he made offer submission to Cush. Now while Nīqanōs had gone out to do battle with the Qedemites, he had left behind Balaam the diviner, the son of Laban the Aramaean, and his two sons Yanēs and Mamrēs to guard the city, and so they remained there, along with a fourth of the land’s population. Balaam advised the citizenry to rebel against King Nīqanōs and to not allow him to re-enter the city. The citizens of the land obeyed him and concluded an agreement with him, and they elevated him to be their king, whereupon he appointed his two sons to be generals at the head of the people. They raised the walls on two sides of the city. As for the third opposite side, they dug innumerable pits which they filled with water from the river which flowed all around the land of Cush. On the final side they collected together by means of their magical spells numerous adders and scorpions, so that no one was able to leave or enter the city by that side without being stung. It came to pass that when Nīqanōs and all of the commanders of his forces were returning from battle, they lifted up their eyes and saw that the wall of the city was extremely high. Each was marveling to his neighbor, and they said among themselves: ‘The citizens of the city saw that we were delayed by the battle, and so they have raised the wall of the city and strengthened it so that the rulers of Canaan could not come among them!’ As they drew nearer to the city, they noticed that the gates of the city were closed. They cried out to the gatekeepers to open them in order to enter the city, but the gatekeepers refused to open them—following the directive of Balaam the diviner—and they would not allow them to enter the city. They fought a battle at the main gate, and one hundred and thirty troops belonging to Nīqanōs’s force fell that day. On the second day, they fought on the side which had the river: thirty cavalrymen rode their horses along the valley road, but they sank among the pits and perished. The king ordered that rafts be constructed in order to effect a crossing by means of them, and they did so, but when they came to the places where there were pits, the waters surged, and there sank on that day another two hundred men.
On the third day they approached the side where the adders and vipers were, but they were unable to enter the city, and the serpents killed from among their number seventy-seven troops. They then ceased active military operations against Cush and instead laid siege to her for nine years: no one could depart or enter her. It came to pass that it was during the siege of Cush that Moses fled from Egypt and arrived in the camp of Nīqanōs, king of Cush. Moses was thirty years old when he arrived in the camp of Nīqanōs: they were besieging Cush and the time already spent by Nīqanōs on the siege was nine years. As long as Moses continued with them, he found favor in their eyes: the king, all of the officers, and the whole military force loved him. He continually grew in their esteem, and he was handsome, with a stature like that of a palm tree. The king was very fond of him and appointed him commander over the army. They remained there for a long time, until King Nīqanōs contracted an illness and died. His servants said: ‘What will we do? If we go up from the city, they may pursue us and annihilate us! It would have been better for us to die during the siege than to return to our land like a people returning humiliated!’ They agreed with one another in raising Moses to the office of king, for there was no one else like him among the people. They did so, and gave him the queen, the wife of Nīqanōs, as wife, but Moses remembered the covenant of the Lord his God and did not approach her sexually; he placed a sword in the bed between himself and her, and he did not sin with her. On the third day after becoming king, his servants said to him: ‘Give us some advice and say what we should do, for we have not seen our wives and our children this past nine years, and we want very much to see them again!’ Moses said to them: ‘If you obey my directives, you will free yourselves and return safely to your homes.’ They answered him: ‘Everything which you command us we will do!’ He said to them: ‘Go to the hill-country and each one of you take away a baby stork.’ They quickly went and did so. He said to them: ‘Teach them to hunt food like one teaches young hawks.’ They did so. He said to them: ‘Let everyone mount his horse, don his armor, and take up his weapons, and come opposite the side where the serpents are. When the serpents emerge, throw on them the young storks who will eat them. Then we will take the city!’ They did so, drew near to the city, and put it to the sword. When Balaam b. Be‘or saw that the city was captured, he pronounced a spell and conjuration: he and his two sons flew through the air and fled back to Egypt to Pharaoh and dwelt there with him. Each of the victorious soldiers returned safely to his house. When the people saw that the king had delivered them and that it was due to his good counsel that the city had been taken, they loved him very much. Moses continued revering the Lord his God and did not turn aside to the right or to the left from the statutes of his ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The time he ruled as king over Cush was forty years.
One day he was seated on his throne and the queen was seated at his side. The queen said to the officials, ‘Look, the ruler whom you installed as king over you this past forty years has never approached me sexually. Install over you now a descendant of your lord Nīqanōs, for the kingdom is rightfully his, and do not let a foreigner rule over you.’ All of the military leaders said to Moses, ‘You have greatly pleased us; however, all of the populace are planning to coronate a descendant of their lord to rule over them. Pick out for yourself some riches and goods and depart from us and return to your homeland in peace.’ Moses left for the land of Midian ‘and he sat by the well. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: they came, drew water, and filled the troughs in order to water the flock of their father. Some male shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses arose and delivered them, and he watered their flock. They returned to Re‘u’el their father, and he said, "How have you returned so quickly today?" They said, "An Egyptian rescued us from the bullying of the shepherds, and he moreover drew our water and watered the flock!" "So where is he?" he answered his daughters. "Why have you left this man behind? Invite him to dinner!" And Moses was content to stay with the man’. Re‘u’el said to him: ‘From where do you come? What is your homeland and where are your people?’ He answered him, ‘I am Moses,’ and then recounted to him everything which happened to him in Egypt. Then Jethro thought, ‘This is the one who extended his hand for the king’s crown! I shall take him and hand him over to Pharaoh.’ He issued orders to maintain him on prison rations of bread and water. However, Moses was viewed with favor by Zipporah Jethro’s daughter, and every day she would periodically supply him with extra food. He remained there for seven years. At the conclusion of seven years, Zipporah said to her father, ‘Should you not entreat that prisoner and captive whom you threw into the pit so long ago? Every day he invokes his god against you; as a result you are guilty of wrongdoing.’ Jethro answered her, ‘Who has ever heard of such a thing?!? A man not eating for this many years, and yet he is still alive?’ They went to the prison and found him standing up praying to his god and effected his release from there.
Now during that time Jethro had issued a decree and circulated an announcement among all his lands that the person who could come and uproot the staff which was planted in his garden would be given his daughter Zipporah to wed. Kings, mighty princes, and warriors had been coming, but none of them had been able to pull up the staff. After Moses was released from prison, he was walking around in the garden, and he noticed the staff ‘stuck in the ground’: it was made of sapphire, and the Ineffable Name of God was engraved upon it. Moses put his hand on the staff and pulled it up from its place with ease, and the staff was in his hand. He returned to the house with the staff in his hand. When Jethro saw the staff in the hand of Moses, he was utterly amazed, and he gave him Zipporah his daughter to be his wife. She bore a son, whom he named Gershom. Moses was 77 years old when he came out of prison. Zipporah followed the pious examples of Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, and she walked in the way of the Lord in accordance with how Moses her husband commanded her.
Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro, but the Lord intended to honor the oath which He had sworn to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the Lord, may He be praised, appeared to Moses in the bush, and said He would send him as messenger to Pharaoh to perform signs and wonders. He returned to his father-in-law and said to him, ‘I must go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt.’ Moses took his wife. It came to pass while they were on the way at a lodging-place that the Lord attacked him because he had not remembered to circumcise his son. He collapsed before the angel, but Zipporah picked up a sharp rock and circumcised her son, thereby saving her husband and her son from the power of the angel. The Lord said to Aaron, ‘Go meet Moses in the desert,’ and so he rendezvoused with him at the mountain of God, and embraced him. Then Aaron lifted up his eyes and saw his sons and his wife. He said, ‘Who are they?’ Moses answered Aaron, ‘The children with whom God has favored me in the land of Midian.’ Aaron however viewed this circumstance with extreme disfavor, saying, ‘Have we not suffered enough for past troubles? Do you want to add to them?’ Moses told his wife to return to her father’s house, and she did so.
After this Moses and Aaron arrived in Egypt. They came to the palace of Pharaoh. Now at the gate of Pharaoh’s palace were stationed two lions for the purpose of preventing people from approaching the royal gate out of their fear of them, for they would tear apart whoever they saw before their keeper could come and remove them. When they heard that Moses and Aaron were coming, Balaam the diviner and the Egyptian sorcerers counseled the lion-keepers to release them and leave them by the portal of the gate. When Moses and Aaron came to the portal of the gate, Moses extended his staff toward the lions, and they acted as if they were glad to see him. They followed after them and frolicked before them like dogs frolic at the time when their masters come home from the field. When Pharaoh and his servants saw this, they became very afraid of them. They said to them: ‘What is your business here? What do you want?’ They responded: ‘The God of the Hebrews has summoned us to say, "Send away my people so that they might serve me!"’ Pharaoh said to them, "Come back to me tomorrow and I will provide you with an answer.’ They did so: they departed and left. After this Pharaoh summoned his sages, magicians, enchanters, and diviners, among whom was Balaam. Balaam said to them, ‘How were they able to approach the gate without the lions tearing them apart?!?’ Pharaoh said to him, ‘They entered and the lions did not do anything to them! They frolicked with them as if they were the ones who raised them, and the lions were happy to be with them just like dogs are happy to be with the masters who have raised them from when they were puppies!’ Balaam said to him, ‘They are but magicians just like us! Now send someone to summon them to engage in a contest before you!’
He sent someone to summon them, and Moses, Aaron, and the elders of Israel came out and came into the presence of the king. They repeated to him the words which they had previously spoken to him, and the staff of God was in his hand. Pharaoh said to them, ‘Who is the one who trained you?’ Moses and Aaron came and did just what God had said to them: Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. Pharaoh summoned his sages and magicians, and they also did the same thing: each one threw down his staff and they became serpents. Then Aaron’s staff set upon and swallowed the staffs of the magicians. Balaam and the magicians said, ‘It is no marvel, wonder, or unusual feat that your serpent should swallow our serpents, for it is simply a law of nature that a living being can swallow another living being. If you want us to acknowledge that the spirit of God is working through you, throw down your staff on the ground, and if your staff while it remains wooden can swallow our staffs while they remain wooden, then we will acknowledge that the spirit of God is with you.’ They did so: each threw down his staff and they became serpents. But after they had reverted back into what they had previously been, the staff of Aaron swallowed their staffs.
Then Pharaoh issued a command to bring all the books of Egypt and to search whether they might find in them the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He. They made search but did not find it, because they were books of idolatry. He said to them, ‘I have looked in all my books, but I can’t find the name of your god.’ They said, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has summoned us.’ Then Pharaoh said, ‘Who is this Lord whose voice I should heed?’ Moses answered, ‘He commanded that we should make a three day journey in order to make sacrifice to the Lord our God, for from the time that Israel descended to Egypt, we have not offered Him sacrifice. If you do not release Israel, He will send upon you a number of terrible and great disasters and afflictions.’ He said to them, ‘What kind of power and strength does this god have?’ They answered him, ‘He is the maker of heaven and earth, of light and darkness, of sea and dry land, and of cattle and wild beasts, and the entire universe shakes and trembles before Him. He will take away your power and return you as dust to the ground!’ Then Pharaoh grew angry at them and said: ‘All those who are gods have been unable to accomplish what I have done! "My Nile is my own, and I have made it myself!".’ His rage grew and he drove them out and issued orders to make their yoke more onerous.
However, the Lord brought upon them ten great afflictions so grievous that they reckoned them as two hundred and fifty separate plagues. The first plague: the Holy One, blessed be He, brought on them blood because they were preventing the Israelites from practicing immersion—therefore He brought blood on them. The second plague: He brought frogs on them which fell into their dough-pans and the chambers of their shrines and their bedrooms. They hopped and croaked in the midst of their bowels, and so the plague of frogs was harsher than all of the others. The reason He brought frogs was because the Egyptians would say to Israel, ‘Go and catch fish for us!’—therefore He brought frogs upon them. The third plague: He brought lice upon them to the height of about a cubit above the ground. Whenever the Egyptians would put on clean clothes, they would immediately be filled with lice. This was because the Egyptians used to say to the Israelites, ‘Go and sweep and clean our houses, our courtyards, and our streets!’—therefore He transformed for them their dirt into lice. The fourth plague: He brought a mixed horde of ravenous animals upon them, consisting of lions, wolves, panthers, bears, and other wild carnivores. The Egyptians went into their houses and locked their doors, but the Holy One, blessed be He, sent a beast up from the ground called a siren and she entered through the windows and opened the doors, and the bears, panthers, lions, and wolves rushed inside and devoured the Egyptians and their infants in their beds. Why did He bring these upon them? Because the Egyptians used to say, ‘Go and tend to our cattle!’—for this reason He brought the mixed horde of ravenous animals upon them, as well as a pestilence through which all their cattle perished, and this latter was the fifth plague. The sixth plague: He brought boils upon them, on both human and beast. Why did He bring boils upon them? Because the Egyptians used to say, ‘Draw baths for us to soften our bodies and indulge us!’—therefore He brought boils upon them to scorch their flesh, and they were scratching their bodies due to the severe irritation. The seventh plague: He brought hail upon them. Why did He bring hail upon them? Because the Egyptians used to say to Israel, ‘Go and plow and sow our fields for us!’—for this reason He brought hail upon them in order to pulverize the trees and plants. The eighth plague: He brought the locust upon them ……. Why did He bring the locust upon them? Because the Egyptians used to say to Israel, ‘Go and plant trees for us and guard their fruits!’—therefore He brought the locust upon them so that it would consume what the hail had left. The ninth plague: He brought upon them the darkness of Gehinnom. Whoever was sitting down was unable to stand up, and whoever was standing up was unable to sit down due to the intensity of the darkness. Why did He bring darkness upon them? Because there were apostates among Israel, and the Holy One, blessed be He, planned to kill them off during the three days of dense darkness so that the Egyptians would not notice those who had fallen among Israel and rejoice about them.
The tenth plague: this was the smiting of the first-born. Our Sages of blessed memory have taught: Before He brought this plague upon them, Moses came to Pharaoh and said to him, ‘Know that the first-born of Egypt will die tonight!’ He began to laugh at him and answered him, ‘How many first-born are there in Egypt? Barely three hundred?’ But the fools did not realize that every one of them were actually of first-born status because they were steeped in sexual infelicity: they were all of illegitimate birth, and each and every one of them was the ‘first-born’ of his father by a different woman. So Moses went to the first-born and said to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: at midnight I will come through Egypt and kill all the first-born of the land of Egypt!’ Immediately every one of them came to their parents and said: ‘Know that every plague—every single one of them—that this Moses has mentioned has come to pass, and now he says that all the first-born in the land of Egypt will die!’ Their parents answered them, saying ‘Go to Pharaoh, for he too is of first-born status.’ They went at once to Pharaoh and said to him: ‘Send away this people, for if you do not get rid of them, tonight all the first-born of Egypt will perish!’ Pharaoh said to them, ‘Who told you to come and speak with me?’ They answered, ‘Our parents. They told us about this thing’ He said to them, ‘Everyone go and kill their father. I am thinking that either I or my enemy, Israel, will die. But you would counsel me to send them away?’ What did the first-born of Egypt do? Each one took up his sword in accordance with the command of the king Pharaoh and killed their father, as scripture states: ‘smiting Egypt with their first-born’. And afterwards at midnight He in turn smote all the first-born, both human and animal. The Holy One, blessed be He, effaced even their figures which had been engraved on monuments.
The Israelites asked the Egyptians for silver, gold, horses, clothing, and garments, just as the Holy One, blessed be He, had forecast to our ancestor Abraham: ‘moreover I will pronounce sentence upon the nation whom they serve, and afterwards they will depart with great wealth’, and after the tenth plague ‘He brought them out with silver and gold; none was a straggler among His tribes’.
It came to pass as they were leaving Egypt that the Israelites remembered the oath which Joseph had made them swear, when he had said: ‘when God attends to you, you will bring up my bones from there with you’. Moses wrote down the Ineffable Name on an object and threw it into the Nile, and he had written as well ‘Arise, O bull! Arise, O bull!’. The casket floated up at once, and so they took the casket of Joseph with them. They also took up the caskets of the tribes, i.e., the tribal ancestors: Joseph’s brothers: each one of the tribes took the casket of its ancestor and departed with them to the wilderness. Numerous peoples left with them; large crowds of unruly folks left and dwelt with them in the wilderness. The mob said among themselves, ‘Did Moses not say we would journey only three days into the wilderness? Now let us all get up early together tomorrow: if they begin the return journey, then well and good. But if not, we will fight a battle with them!’ When the morrow arrived, they said to Moses: ‘Today is one of feast-making’—for they had completed a three-day journey—‘then we will return!’ Moses answered them, ‘The Lord has told us "you will never see them any more again"’. They said to him: ‘You have tricked us with your Lord!’ They immediately began fighting with them, but Israel then arose and effected a great slaughter among them. Those who were left returned to Pharaoh and informed him that the people had fled Egypt.
The Egyptian people came down and overtook them while they were camped by the sea. The Israelites entered into the sea, walking on dry land, but when Pharaoh and all his army came after them, they sank into the sea, and the only one of them who survived was Pharaoh, king of Egypt, for which he offered thanksgiving to the Living God and became a believer in Him, as scripture attests: ‘The Lord is right, and I and my people are wrong’. The Holy One, blessed be He, issued a command to the heavenly officials Michael and Gabriel, and they removed him from there and transported him to the great city of Nineveh, and Pharaoh ruled as king over Nineveh for four hundred years.
The children of Israel went into the wilderness, and ‘Amaleq b. Eliphaz b. Esau came against them to wage war with them. His people numbered 187,000 myriads, and all of them were skilled diviners, necromancers, and soothsayers, but the Lord delivered all of them into the hands of his servant Moses and his pupil Joshua, and they smote them with the edge of the sword. Then the Canaanite king of ‘Arad came and did battle with Israel, as well as Sihon and ‘Og, but all of them fell due to the power of Israel.
During the third month they came to Mount Sinai, and the Holy One, blessed be He, gave them His sacred Torah and He spoke with them from heaven. They constructed the desert sanctuary, the tent, the ark, the altar for incense, and the altar for burnt offerings, and Aaron and his sons offered sacrifices and made atonement for the transgressions of Israel. They journeyed in the wilderness for forty years, during which time neither their garments nor their shoes wore out. They ate manna all of the days that they were in the wilderness—forty years. In that fortieth year, on the tenth day of the first month, Miriam died; may her memory be for a blessing! And Moses our teacher, upon whom be peace, died on the seventh day of the twelfth month at the age of 120 years. He buried him in a valley opposite Beth Pe‘or. The Lord installed Joshua as leader of Israel, the one who made Israel cross the Jordan and take possession of the land of thirty-one kings, and the one who apportioned it out to Israel.
As for the rest of the words of Moses and that which he accomplished, are they not recorded in the Book of the Words of the Upright?
The Chronicles of Moses our Teacher, upon whom be peace, are completed.