The History Of “JOSEPH” The Carpenter/Builder & Earthly Father of “MESSIAH YAHUSHUA”



Translated by B. H. Cowper

(Extracted from The Apocryphal Gospels and other Documents Relating to the History of Christ, pp. 99-127.)

Through the New Testament we currently have in our BIBLES, we hardly get to know much about the man Joseph, the earthly father of YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH. The following is some very useful information that YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH said to HIS disciples/apostles concerning HIS earthly father, Joseph. This information was meant to be included in our HOLY BIBLES, for example as a continuation from Matthew 28 but sadly, it was done away with.

Also, click here to learn more about his wife, Miriam.

Points to note:

  • Joseph was a PRIEST in YAHUVEH/YAHWEH GOD’S Temple, the Second Temple built in Jerusalem. He was brought up in a set-apart way hence he was a Priest.
  • Joseph was described by YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH as a Just and Pious Man.
  • Joseph was not present during YAHUSHUA’S Ministry on earth because he was a very old man at the time of his betrothal to Miryam. He was therefore close to the end of his life. Joseph died at the age of 111 on the 26th the Month of Nisan/Abib. This became a very special day unto YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH. In fact he asked for it to be commemorated yearly.
  • Joseph’s father was called Jacob. Jacob’s lineage is seen in Matthew 1. It is said that Myryam’s Lineage is seen in Luke 3.
  • Joseph lived 40 years before he married for the first time in his life. He then married a lady whose name is not mentioned. They were married for 49 years after which she died. He was 89 when she passed. He mourned her for 1 year after which YAH brought Myryam into his life.
  • Joseph had been married before meeting Myryam and in fact had 4 children who were all boys named Simeon, Judas, Justus and James (note that these were not their Hebrew names at the time).
  • Joseph did not want to marry Myryam because he felt he was too old for her. He did not realised that it was all part of prophecy.
  • Lots were cast based on a revelation to the High Priest from YAHUVEH GOD based on Isaiah 11. Joseph was laid back to take part in the casting of the lots but was later exposed by YAHUVEH GOD. The lot fell on Joseph. He still resisted. The High Priest  then reminded Joseph of what would happen if he did not obey YAHUVEH GOD.
  • Joseph then went away to prepare where he would take Myryam to stay with him. Myryam was sent back to her parents (Joachim and Anna) where she stayed for 3-6 months during which time she even took part in the sewing for the TEMPLE CURTAIN. Lots were cast to decide whom among the girls would sew what colours of thread. Myryam was eventually assigned to sew the PURPLE and SCARLET THREAD.
  • Joseph met and was betrothed to Myryam (a.k.a Mary) one year after the death of his wife. By this time, he was about 90 years of age while Mary was 12 years of age. They were scheduled to marry some months later. YAH interrupted by making Myryam to conceive YAHUSHUA while Joseph was away preparing their marriage home.
  • Sadly, there are conflicting reports as to when exactly Myryam conceived YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH in her womb. In this particular book, it is said that when Joseph came back to take Myryam to his house where they later stayed together as a married couple. Myryam had conceived YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH 6 months before their marriage ceremony had taken place. Joseph found Myryam hiding in Elizabeth’s House. Elizabeth was John The Baptist’s/Immerser’s mother. She too was pregnant at the time. And baby John jumped with joy in her womb at the arrival of Myryam and YAHUSHUA.  Joseph tried to put her away quietly before their official wedding could occur because they had not had any sexual relations.
  • Joseph consulted with the High Priest concerning the matter but even then, he decided not to take Myryam to wife. YAH’S HOLY Angel Gabriel also appeared to Joseph to confirm YAH’S WORD concerning Myryam’s pregnancy.
  • Close to Joseph’s death, YAHUVEH/ YAHWEH GOD sent one of HIS HOLY Angels to inform him that it was almost time to leave the earth. On hearing that, Joseph went to the Temple and pleaded with YAHUVEH GOD to comfort him in HIS last days on earth plus not let him go to hell, the lake of fire. YAHUSHUA also prayed the same prayer for Joseph. YAHUVEH GOD answered by sending Angel Michael and another Holy Angel to protect and take Joseph’s Spirit and Soul to the HEAVENS. By that time, the demons in hell, the lake of fire had been trying to grab Joseph’s spirit and soul in order to take it to hell, the lake of fire.
  • Note that it was revealed in the First Book of Adam and Eve that every human being starting with Adam and Eve would, after earthly death, go to hell the lake of fire until YAHUSHUA (a.k.a YAH’S SALVATION) would come and redeem  mankind from the POWER OF SIN and DEATH in the Year 5,500 of earth’s existence. It would be after that, that mankind would have the privilege to die and go to the HEAVENS instead. Additionally, all of mankind who died before YAHUSHUA’S Sacrificial Death on the Cross would go to hell the lake of fire until YAHUSHUA’S Blood dropped onto Adam’s head while YAHUSHUA was on the Cross. This is why Joseph really pleaded with YAHUVEH GOD not to let him go to hell the lake of fire.
  • Joseph died of an unnamed sickness at the age of 111. This implies that he was engaged and married to Myryam for just 21 years. YAHUSHUA was 21 years at this time. Miriam was therefore 33 years old.

That was my summary. Now, here is the full story as YAHUSHUA narrated it to HIS Disciples on the Mount of Olives:



It happened, one day, when our Saviour, Master, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, sat with his disciples, and they were all assembled on the Mount of Olives, that he said to them, O, my brethren and friends, sons of my Father, who hath chosen you out of all men! you know that I have often told you I must be crucified, and die for the salvation of Adam and his descendants, and that I shall rise from the dead. Now I shall commit to you the doctrine of the Holy Grospel (before) announced (to you), that you may proclaim it through all the world ; and I will clothe you with power from above, and will fill you with [102] the Holy Spirit. And ye shall announce to all nations repentance and remission of sins. For a single cup of water, if a man shall obtain it in the world to come, is better and greater than all the riches of the whole of this world. And a place no greater than one foot can fill, in the house of my Father, is greater and more excellent than all the wealth of earth. Nay, a single hour in the glad abode of the pious, is more happy and precious than a thousand years among sinners ; for their weeping and wailing will not end, and their tears will not cease, nor will they find solace or rest to themselves at any time whatever. And now, O, my honoured members! go and preach to all nations; declare and say to them, Surely the Saviour seeketh diligently for his due heritage, and is the administrator of justice.

And the angels shall put to flight the enemies, and fight for them in the day of conflict. And God shall try every idle and foolish word which men speak, and they shall give account for it. For as no one shall be exempt from death, so also, the works of every man will be manifest in the day of judgment, whether they be good or bad. Declare also this word which I have said to you to-day: let not the strong man glory in his strength, nor the rich man in his riches, let him that will glory, glory in the Lord.

[Page 103]


There was a man whose name was Joseph, sprung of a family of Bethlehem, a city of Judah, and the city of David the King. The same being well instructed in knowledge and doctrine, was made a priest in the temple of the Lord. Moreover, he understood the carpenter’s trade, and like all men, married a wife. He also begat sons and daughters, that is to say, four sons and two daughters; and these are their names, Judas, Justus, James, and Simon ; the names of the two daughters were Assia and Lydia. At length the wife of Joseph the Just deceased, intent upon divine glory in all her works. Now Joseph, that just man, my father according to the flesh, and the spouse of Mary my mother, went with his sons to his calling, following the trade of a carpenter.


Now when Joseph the Just became a widower, Mary my mother, blessed, holy, and pure, had already accomplished twelve years. Her parents offered her in the temple at three years old, and she remained nine years in the temple of the Lord. Then, when the priests saw that the holy virgin, who feared the Lord, was grown up, they talked together, saying: Let us seek for a just and pious man to whom Mary [104] may be committed till the time of marriage, lest, by remaining in the temple, tliere should happen to her what often happens to women, and we sin on that account, and God be angry with us.


Therefore, having forthwith sent out messengers, they called together twelve aged men of the tribe of Judah, and they wrote the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. Now the lot fell upon the pious old man, Joseph the Just. Then the priests answered and said to my blessed mother, Go with Joseph and be with him until the time of marriage. Therefore Joseph the Just received my mother and took her to his home. And Mary found James the Less in the house of his father, broken in mind and sad because of his bereavement of his mother, and she brought him up. Hence she is called Mary the Mother of James. After this Joseph left her in his house and went to his workshop, where his calling of carpenter was carried on. But after the holy virgin had spent two years in his house, her age became exactly fourteen years, including the time from which Joseph received her.

I loved her with a peculiar affection, with the [105] good pleasure of my Father, and the counsel of the Holy Spirit; and I was incarnate of her, by a mystery surpassing the capacity of the reason of creatures. But when three months had passed since the conception, the just man Joseph returned from the place where he followed his trade, and when he found the virgin my mother pregnant, he was troubled in mind, and thought of dismissing her secretly.^ For fear also, and the sorrow and anguish of his heart, he could not bear either to eat or drink that day.


Now about the middle oi the day, holy Gabriel, the prince of the angels, appeared to him in a dream, being supplied with a command from my Father; and he said to him, Joseph, son of David, fear not to take Mary thy spouse; for she hath conceived by the Holy Spirit, and shall bear a son, whose name shall be called Jesus. He it is who shall govern all nations with an iron sceptre. When he had said this the angel departed from him. But Joseph arose out of his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord said to him ; and Mary continued with him.

[Page 106]


After the lapse of some time, a command went forth, from Augustus Caesar, the king, that all the habitable globe should be enrolled, every one in his own city. Therefore the just old man Joseph arose, and took with him Mary the virgin, and they came to Bethlehem, because her time to be delivered drew nigh, Now Joseph inscribed his name on the register: for Joseph the son of David, whose spouse was Mary, was of the tribe of Judah. And Mary, my mother, brought me forth at Bethlehem in a cave, very nigh to the sepulchre of Rachel, the wife of Jacob the patriarch, and mother of Joseph and Benjamin.


But Satan went and reported this to Herod the Great, the father of Archelaus. It was this same Herod who commanded John my friend and kinsman to be beheaded. Therefore he diligently sought after me, supposing my kingdom would be of this world. But Joseph, the pious old man, was admonished of this matter by a dream. He therefore arose and took Mary my mother: and I lay in her bosom. Salome also added herself to them as the [107] companion of their journey. Therefore, leaving home, he retired into Egypt, and remained there the space of one whole year, until Herod’s jealousy passed away.


Now Herod died the worst kind of death, suffering punishment for the shed blood of the children, whom he iniquitously destroyed when there was no sin in them. And when that impious tyrant Herod was dead, the parents of Jesus returned with him to the land of Israel, and dwelt in a city of Galilee which is called Nazareth. Now Joseph, resuming his carpenter’s trade, supported life by the work of his hands ; for he did not seek his food for nought by the labour of another; as the law of Moses had commanded.


At length, his years increasing, the old man arrived at an advanced age. Yet he laboured under no infirmity of body, his sight failed not, and no tooth in his mouth decayed, nor was he ever insane in mind in all his life; but, like a youth, he always displayed juvenile vigour in his affairs, and his members remained whole and free from all pain. His whole [108] life consisted of a hundred and eleven years; his age having been prolonged to the utmost limit.


Justus and Simeon the elder sons of Joseph, having married wives, went away to their families. Both the daughters likewise married, and went to their houses. But Judas and James the Less, and the virgin my mother, remained in the house of Joseph. I also continued along with them, not otherwise than if I had been one of his sons. I passed all my time without fault. I called Mary my mother, and Joseph father, and in all they said I was obedient to them; nor did I ever resist them, but submitted to them, just as other men whom earth produceth are wont to do; nor did I provoke their anger any day, nor return any harsh word or answer to them; on the contrary, I cherished them with immense love, as the apple of my eye.


It happened after this that the death of the pious old man Joseph and his departure from this world approached, just as with other men who owe their origin to this earth. And when his body was inclining towards its decease, an angel of the Lord [109] made known to him that the hour of death now drew nigh. Therefore fear and great trouble of mind came over him. But he arose and went to Jerusalem, and having entered the temple of the Lord and poured out his prayers there before the sanctuary, he said:


God, who art the author of all comfort, the God of all mercy, and Lord of the whole human race, the God (I say) of my soul, spirit, and body: I suppliantly venerate thee, my Lord and God, if now my days are finished, and the time is at hand in which I must go out of this world, send me, I pray, the great Michael, prince of thy holy angels, and let him abide with me, that my wretched soul may depart from this miserable body without distress, without terror and impatience. For immense fear and vehement sorrow seizeth all bodies on the day of their death, whether male or female, whether cattle or wild beast, whatever either creepeth upon the ground or flieth in the air; in sum, all creatures which are under heaven, and in which vital spirit is, are stricken with horror, with great fear, and immense faintness, when their souls depart from their bodies. Now, therefore, my Lord and God, let thy holy angel, with his aid, attend upon my soul [110] and body, until they are separated from each other. Nor let the face of the angel appointed for my keeping from the day when I was made, be turned away from me; but let him offer himself to me as the companion of my journey, until he hath brought me to thee; let his countenance be sweet and cheerful to me, and let him accompany me in peace. But suffer not that demons terrible in aspect should come to me in the way wherein I am to go, until I come happily to thee. Nor let the door-keepers prevent my soul at the entrance of Paradise. Nor by unfolding my sins expose me to rebuke before thy terrible tribunal. Nor let the lions rush upon me. Nor let the waves of the fiery sea submerge my soul—for every soul must pass through this—before I behold the glory of thy divinity. O, God! judge most just, who wilt judge mortals in justice and equity, and repay to every one according to his works, my Lord and God ! let thy mercy be with me, and enlighten thou my way that I may attain to thee: for thou art a fount abounding in all good and glory for ever. Amen!

[Page 111]


After this it came to pass, when he returned home to the city of Nazareth, that he fell sick and kept his bed. And this was the time in which he died, as it is appointed unto all men. Now he was grievously afflicted by this sickness, nor had he ever been so ill as at present, from the time he was born. And thus truly it pleased Christ to arrange the affairs of Joseph the Just. Forty years he lived before he entered the married state; his wife remained under his protection forty-nine years, and died when they were gone. One year after her death, my mother, the blessed Mary, was committed to Joseph by the priests, that he might keep her until the time for marriage. Two years she spent in his house, with nothing remarkable occurring, but in the third year of her sojourn with Joseph, and the fifteenth of her age, she bore me in the earth, by a mystery which no creature can penetrate or apprehend, save myself and my Father, and the Holy Spirit, constituting one essence with me.


Therefore, the whole age of my father, the just [112] old man, made up one hundred and eleven years, for so my heavenly Father decreed. And the day on which his soul departed from his body, was the twenty-sixth of the month Abib. For now the fine gold began to lose its brightness, and the silver to be worn with use, I mean his intellect and understanding. Moreover, he loathed his food and drink, and his skill in the carpenter’s trade failed him, nor did he any longer have regard to it. It came to pass, therefore, at daybreak on the twenty-sixth day of the month of Abib, that the soul of the old man, Joseph the Just, was rendered unquiet as he lay in his bed, “Wherefore, he opened his mouth and sighed, and smote his hands together, and cried out, with a loud voice, saying after this manner:


“Woe to the day on which I was born into the world! woe to the womb which bore me ! woe to the body which received me! woe to the breasts which gave me suck! woe to the knees on which I sat and rested ! woe to the hands which carried and led me till I grew up! For I was conceived in iniquity, and in sin my mother longed for me! “Woe to my [113] tongue and lips, which have uttered and spoken vanity, reproach, falsehood, folly, ridicule, fiction, craft, and hypocrisy! Woe to my eyes, which have looked upon offence! Woe to my ears, which have taken pleasure in the talk of calumniators! Woe to my hands, which have seized what did not lawfully pertain to them! Woe to my stomach, which has longed for food which it was forbidden it to eat! Woe to my throat, which, like a fire, consumed all things, whatever it took hold of? Woe to my feet, which have too often walked in ways displeasing to God! Woe to my body, and woe to my unhappy soul, which is now averse from God its maker! What shall I do when I come to the place where I must stand before the most just Judge, and he shall rebuke me for the works which I have multiplied in my youth ? Woe to every man who dieth in his sins! Certainly that same terrible hour which overtook my father Jacob when his soul took flight from his body, behold to me is now imminent. O, how miserable I am to-day, and worthy of lamentation! But God alone is the director of my soul and body; he also will do with them according to his pleasure.


This is what Joseph, that just old man, said. Now [114] when I went in to him, I perceived his soul to be greatly troubled ; for he was in great anguish. And I said to him, Hail, my father Joseph, thou just man; how art thou? And he answered me, The best of greetings, O, my beloved little son! Yerily, the pain and fear of death already surrounded me; but as soon as I heard thy voice, my soul found rest. O, Jesus the Nazarene! Jesus my Saviour! Jesus the Deliverer of my soul! Jesus my protector! Jesus, O, sweetest name in the mouth of me, and of all who love it! Eye which seest, and ear which hearest, hearken to me! I, thy servant, to-day most humbly venerate thee, and pour out my tears before thee. Thou art altogether my God, thou art my Lord, as the angel very often told me; but chiefly on that day when my soul was tossed about by perverse thoughts on account of the pure and blessed Mary, who was with child, and whom I thought to put away secretly. But while I meditated these things, behold there appeared unto me in my sleep, angels of the Lord, in a wondrous mystery, saying unto me, O, Joseph, son of David, fear not to take Mary thy spouse, neither be sad, nor say unseemly words of her conception, for she is with child of the Holy Spirit, and shall bear a son, whose name shall be called Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins. Bear me no ill will on this account, O, Lord; [115] for I knew not the mystery of thy nativity. I remember, also, my Lord, that day when the boy was killed by the bite of a serpent. Now his relations wished to deliver thee to Herod, saying thou hadst killed him: but thou didst restore him to them raised from the dead. Then I came and took thee by the hand, and said, My son, take care for thyself. But thou answeredst me, Art thou not my father according to the flesh? I will teach thee who I am. Now, therefore, O, my Lord and God, be not angry with me, nor condemn me because of that hour. I am thy servant, and the son of thy handmaid; but thou art my Lord, my God and Saviour; most certainly the Son of God.


“When my father Joseph had said this, he could weep no more, and I saw death already prevailing over him. But my mother, the unsullied virgin, rising and coming to me, said, O, my beloved son, this pious old man Joseph is already dying. And I replied, O, my mother, most loving, surely upon all creatures, which are born in this world, lieth the same necessity of dying: for death hath dominion over all the human race. Thou, also, O, my virgin mother, must expect the same end of life with all [116] other mortals. Nevertheless, thy death, as also the death of this pious man, is not death, but perennial life for ever. But it behoveth me too to die, as respects the body which I received from thee. But arise, O, my venerable mother, go and enter to Joseph, the blessed old man, that thou mayest see what happeneth when his soul goeth up from his body.


Therefore, Mary, my pure mother, went and entered the place where Joseph was, and I sat at his feet looking at him; but the signs of death now appeared in his face. And that blessed old man, with head raised, and fixed eyes, looked into my face: yet he possessed no power to address me, because of the pain of death, which held him enclosed round; but he drew many sighs. And I held his hand for the space of one whole hour: and he, with his face turned towards me, signified that I should not leave him. Afterwards, placing my hand upon his breast, I perceived his soul already near his throat, preparing to depart from its receptacle.


Now when my virgin mother saw me touching his body, she also touched his feet; and finding them [117] already half-dead, and without heat, she said to me, O, my beloved son, clearly his feet now begin to grow cold, and are like the coldness of snow. Then when his sons and daughters had been called, she said to them. Come, all of you, and approach your father: for certainly he is now come to his end. Assia, the daughter of Joseph, answered, saying. Woe, unto me, O, my brethren, surely this is the same disease as was that of my beloved mother. And she wailed and wept, and all the other children of Joseph lamented with her. I also, and Mary my mother, wept with them.


And turning my eyes to the south side, I saw Death now coming, and all Gehenna with it, crowded with its host and attendants; and their garments, faces, and mouths cast out fire. When my father Joseph saw these come straight to him, his eyes were bathed in tears; and the same moment he groaned in a wonderful manner. Therefore, seeing the violence of his sighs, I repulsed Death, and all the host of followers which attended him. And I called upon my good Father, saying:


Father of all mercy, Eye which seest, and [118]  Ear which hearest, hearken to my supplication and prayers for the old man Joseph; and send Michael, the prince of thy angels, and Gabriel, the herald of light, and all the light of thy angels; and let their whole order journey with the soul of my father Joseph, until they have brought it to thee. This is the hour wherein my father hath need of mercy. Now I say to you, that all saints, nay, all men that are born in the world, whether they be just or wicked, must needs taste death.


Therefore, Michael and Gabriel came to the soul of my father Joseph; and, having received it, wrapped it in a bright wrapper. So he committed his spirit into the hands of my good Father, who bestowed upon him peace. And none of his children yet knew that he had fallen asleep. But the angels preserved his soul from the demons of darkness, which were in the way; and they praised God, until they brought it to the habitation of the pious.


But his body lay prostrate and lifeless; where- [119] fore, putting my hands to his eyes, I arranged them, and I closed his mouth. And I said to Mary the virgin, O, my mother, where is his trade, which he professed all the time he lived in this world? Behold it is now perished, and is as if it had never existed. When his children heard me speaking thus with my pure virgin mother, they knew that he had now expired; and, mingling their tears, they wailed. But I said to them, Surely the death of your father is not death, but life eternal; for he is delivered from the sorrows of this world, and hath passed away to rest which is perpetual and will endure for ever. When they heard this, they rent their garments, weeping.


And the inhabitants of the city of Nazareth and of Galilee, when they knew of their mourning, flocked unto them, and wept from the third hour till the ninth. And at the ninth hour, they all went together to the bed of Joseph. And they took up his body after they had anointed it with excellent ointments. But I prayed to my Father with the prayer of the heavenly ones: it was the same which I wrote with my hand before I was borne in the womb of Mary, my virgin mother. Now as soon as I had finished it, and uttered Amen, an immense [120] multitude of angels came; and I commanded two of them to spread out a bright vestment, and wrap in it the body of the blessed old man Joseph.


And addressing Joseph, I said. The odour or stink of death shall not prevail in thee, nor shall worm ever proceed from thy body. Not a single limb of it shall be broken, nor shall any hair in thy head be changed, nor shall any of thy body perish, O, my father Joseph; but it shall remain entire and uncorrupted, until the banquet of a thousand years. And whatever mortal is mindful of the oblation on the day of thy memorial, him will I bless and reward in the congregation of virgins. And whoever giveth food to the wretched, and poor, and widows, and orphans, of the work of his hands on the day when thy memory is celebrated, and in thy name, he shall not be without good all the days of his life. Whoever, also, shall offer to drink a cup of water or of wine to the widow or orphan in thy name, I will give him to thee, that thou mayest go in with him to the banquet of a thousand years. And every man that shall [121] attend to the oblation on the day of thy commemoration, I will bless him, and give him a recompense in the church of virgins: I will return him (I say) thirty, sixty, and one hundred for one. And whoever writeth the history of thy life, thy labour, and thy departure from this world, and this discourse delivered by my mouth, I will commit him to thy guardianship while he shall remain in this life. And when his soul departeth from his body, and when he must leave this world, I will burn the book of his sins, nor will I torment him with any punishment in the day of judgment; but he shall cross the fiery sea, and shall traverse it without difficulty and pain. This is incumbent upon every needy man who cannot do any of the things which I have mentioned, that if a son is born to him, he shall call his name Joseph. So neither poverty nor sudden death shall have place in that house for ever.


Then came the chief men of the city to the place where the body of the blessed old man Joseph was laid; and they brought with them mourning garments, and wished to wrap it in them, according to the manner in which the Jews are wont to arrange dead bodies. But they perceived that he held his shroud as if it were fastened; for so did it adhere to [122] his body that, when they desired to take it off, it was found like iron—immoveable and inseparable. Nor could they find any edges in the shroud, which thing filled them with the greatest astonishment. At length they bore him away to a place where there was a cave, and they opened the door to deposit his body among the bodies of his fathers. Then came into my mind the day on which he journeyed with me into Egypt, and that great trouble which he endured on my account. Then I wept for his death a long trine, and bowing over his body, I said:


O Death! who renderest all human knowledge vain, and callest forth so many tears and lamentations, certainly it is God my Father who hath allowed thee this power. For through the transgression of Adam and his wife. Eve, men die, and death spareth not even one. Yet nothing happeneth or befalleth any one without the commandment of my Father. Men have existed, indeed, who have prolonged their life to as much as nine hundred years; but they have died. Nay, though some of them may have lived longer, they nevertheless succumbed to the same fate, nor did any of them ever say, I have not tasted death. But the Lord never inflicteth [123] the same penalty more than once, when it hath pleased my Father to send it upon a man. In the same moment when it cometh forth it seeth the command descending to it out of heaven, and it saith, I will go forth against that man to cause him great trouble. Then without delay an assault is made upon the soil, and death ruleth over it, doing with it as it will. For because Adam did not the will of my Father, but transgressed his commandment, my Father, being provoked to anger against him, devoted him to death, and for this cause death entered the world. But if Adam had kept the precept of my Father, death would never have befallen him. Think ye that I can seek from my good Father that he would send me a fiery chariot, to receive the body of my father Joseph, and remove it to a place of rest, to dwell with spiritual beings? But for the prevarication of Adam, this affliction and violence of death descended upon the whole human race; and this is the reason why it behoveth me to die according to the flesh, namely, for my work, or men whom I created, that they may obtain favour.


Having said thus I embraced the body of my father Joseph, and wept over it; but the others [124] opened the door of the sepulchre and laid his body in it beside the body of his father Jacob. Now when he fell asleep he had completed one hundred and eleven years. Never did any tooth ache in his mouth, nor did the sight of his eyes grow dim, nor did his form bend, nor his strength fail; but he applied himself to his carpenter’s trade, even to the last day of his life, and that day was the 26th of the month Abib.


“Now we apostles, when we heard this from our Saviour, joyfully arose, and with prostrate body rendered honour to him, saying, our Saviour, display to us thy grace; for now we have heard the word of life. Yet we wonder, our Saviour, at the fate of Enoch and Elijah, that they were not exposed to any death. For they dwell in the place of the just unto the present day, and their bodies have not seen corruption. But that old man Joseph, the carpenter, was still thy father after the flesh. Now thou hast commanded that we should go through all the world and preach the holy Gospel, and thou hast said. Tell them also the death of my father Joseph, and celebrate a festal and sacred day to him in an annual solemnity. But whoever shall diminish aught from [125]this word, or add anything to it, he sinneth. Now we are surprised that Joseph, from the day when thou wast born at Bethlehem, called thee his son according to the flesh. Why, then, hast thou not made him immortal as Enoch and Elijah are? and thou sayest he was just and elect.


And our Saviour answered and said, Now indeed is the prophecy of my Father fulfilled concerning Adam for his disobedience. And all things are disposed according to the nod and will of my Father. If a man setteth aside the command of God, and followeth the works of the devil by committing sin, his age is prolonged: thus, indeed, is he preserved alive that, perchance, he may repent, and consider that he must be delivered into the hand of death. And if anyone hath been zealous of good works, also his time of life is prolonged, that as the fame of his old age increaseth good men may imitate him. But when ye see a man whose soul is hasty to wrath, his days are surely shortened; for it is these who are taken away in the flower of their age. Therefore every prophecy, which my Father hath uttered [126] concerning the sons of men, must in all respects be fulfilled. But as to Enoch and Elijah, that they continue alive to this day, retaining the same bodies with which they were born, and as to my father Joseph to whom continuance in his body is not allotted as to them; verily, even if a man lives many myriads of years in the world, he is nevertheless compelled at some time to exchange life for death. And I tell you, my brethren, that these same men (Enoch and Elijah), must return into the world at the end of time, and depart this life, namely in the day of commotion, terror, anguish, and affliction. For Anti-christ will slay four bodies, and will shed their blood like water, for the reproach to which they will expose him, and the ignominy wherewith, when they have detected his impiety, while they live they will brand him.


And we said, our Lord, our God and Saviour, who are those four that thou saidst Antichrist would put out of the way because of their rebuke? The Saviour answered. They are Enoch, Elijah, Shila, and Tabitha. When we heard this word from our Saviour, we rejoiced and were glad, and offered all [127] glory and thanksgiving to the Lord God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. He it is to whom is due glory, honour, dignity, dominion, power, and praise, as well as to the good Father with him, and to the Holy life-giving Spirit henceforth and at all time for ever and ever. Amen.