The BOOK OF JASHER was originally known as THE BOOK OF THE UPRIGHT and THE BOOK OF THE JUST MAN.
The Book of Jasher (also, Jashar) or Book of the Just Man (Hebrew sēfer ha yāšār ספר הישר) is an unknown book mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. The translation “Book of the Just Man” is the traditional Greek and Latin translation, while the rendering a personal name “Jasher” is found in the King James Bible, 1611. Biblical references The book appears to date from after the reign of David. 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 Book of 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)? The presence of this event in a book of poetry has been interpreted as a poetic description of the prolonged battle. 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.
According to the Medieval Jewish scholar, Rashi, Sefer HaYashar refers to the Pentateuch, as a fulfillment of Jacob’s prophecy regarding Ephraim “His seed [of Ephraim] will fill the nations.” (Gen. 48:19) that this refer’s to Joshua’s renown after the miracle of the standing of the sun SEFER HAYASHAR (MIDRASH) The Sefer haYashar (first edition 1552) is a Hebrew midrash also known as the Toledot Adam and Dibre ha-Yamim be-‘Aruk. The Hebrew title may be translated Sefer haYashar “Book of the Upright Man,” but it is known in English translation mostly as The Book of Jasher following English tradition. The book is named after the Book of Jasher mentioned in Joshua and 2 Samuel. This is among several texts purporting to be the original “Book of Jasher.” The text is not accepted as such in rabbinical Judaism. HISTORY The earliest authenticated verified version of this Hebrew midrash was printed in Venice in 1625 and the introduction refers to an earlier 1552 “edition” in Naples of which neither trace or other mention has been found. The printer Joseph ben Samuel claimed the work was copied by a scribe named Jacob the son of Atyah from an ancient manuscript whose letters could hardly be made out. This work is not to be confused with an ethical text by the same name, which, according to the Encyclopaedia Judaica, Volume 14, p. 1099, was “probably written in the 13th century.” Scholars have proposed various dates between the 9th century and 16th century.
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The Book of Jasher
Referred to in
Joshua and Second Samuel
FROM THE ORIGINAL HEBREW INTO ENGLISH
“Is not this written in the Book of Jasher?”–Joshua, x. 13.
“Behold it is written in the Book of Jasher.”–II. Samuel, i. 18
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This is one of the apochrypal Books of Jasher. There are several (as many as five) separate works by this title, all composed much later than Biblical times. This particular one is a translation of a Hebrew book printed in 1613. Sepir Ha Yasher, the Hebrew title of this book, means the ‘Book of the Upright’, or ‘the Upright or Correct Record’. This title was misread as ‘Jasher’, and at some point Jasher was treated as a proper name; however the pronoun ‘the’ (hebrew ‘ha’) never preceeds proper names.
There is also another spurious Book of Jasher, published 1750, in which Jasher is treated as the name of the author.
This text covers much of the same ground as the traditional Mosaic books of the Bible, from the creation of the world to the death of Moses, albeit with several minor variations.