Book of Jasher/Sefer HaYashar

James Trimm jstrimm at swbell.net
Thu Sep 10 19:21:22 EDT 1998



All,

I am seeking the original Hebrew of the Book of Jasher (Sefer HaYashar).
There is more than one book by that name so below is a description of the
book I am speaking of.  I have heard that it can be found in Hebrew in
Israel.  Can anyone help me obtain a copy?

In 1840 Mordecai Noah, a prominant Jew of New York published a book titled
the Book of Jasher which had been translated by a Mr. Samuel of England.

A second 1887 edition was printed by J.H. Parry & Company; Salt Lake City.

This book is a narrative beginning with Adam and ending with th Judges.  It
is also called Toldot Adam and begins with "This is the book of the
generations of man..."  and ends "...and let the hearts of all you that
trust in the Lord be of good courage."

This English Book of Jasher was a translation of a Hebrew Sefer HaYashar
(Book of Jasher) first printed in Naples in 1552 and in another edition in
Venice in 1625.  The Hebrew book is regarded by scholars to be a 12th or
13th century Midrash.

The Book of Jasher is a "lost book" mentioned in Joshua 10:13 & 2Sam 1:18.

Complicating the issue are two unrelated books by the same title:

1. An ethical work titled Sefer HaYashar first published in 1544.

2. An English forgery with no Hebrew published in 1750 and again in 1829
and still occasionally reprinted.  It begins "Whilst it was the
beginning..." and ends with "...And Jazer laid it up in the city of Jezer"

Let me know if anyone can help.
James Trimm
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