About This Text
Composed: c.350 – c.50 BCE
The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs is an apocryphal work containing the final speeches of the 12 sons of Jacob to their descendants. Written in the style of Jacob’s blessing to his children (Genesis 49:1-27), each testament consists of a brief overview of the patriarch’s life, admissions of sin, ethical teachings based on the patriarch’s experiences, and prophetic visions about the future of his descendants and the end of days. The work has Christian elements, which most contemporary scholars view as later interpolations.