The Book of Jasher
The Book of Jasher (also, Jashar) literally means the “book of the upright.” The Syriac calls it “book of praises” or “book of hymns.” This book is said to be a collection of songs relating to memorable events and individuals in the early history of Israel. Little is known about it since it was lost.
References to the Book of Jasher in the Bible
The book of Jasher is directly mentioned only two times in the Old Testament. The first reference is found in Joshua 10:13 when the Lord stopped the sun in the middle of the day during the battle of Beth Horon and describes how He gave the Israelites victory under the leadership of Joshua in the Valley of Aijalon.
Also, the LXX of 1 Kings 8:53 mentions a “book of the song,” which could be another reference to the book of Jasher.
The book, in its entirety, appears to have been written of ballads escorted by prose introductions, dealing with heroes—godly people—showing what they accomplished in their lives. It was clearly collected as the events took place.
The extraordinary incident of the standing still of the sun and moon may have been written soon after it took place. If so, when Joshua recorded the battle of Gibeon perhaps a short period before his death, it would seem that he retold this particular ballad with its prose introduction as part of his story of this remarkable incident.
Other books not included in the Bible
There are many other good books that were written during the history of God’s children yet were not included in the Bible. Some of these books are: the Book of the Wars of the Lord (Numbers 21:14), the Book of Samuel the Seer, the Book of Nathan the Prophet, and the Book of Gad the Seer (1 Chronicles 29:29). For practical reasons, not all good books could have been included in the canon. And John the apostle gives a similar reason as to why he could not include all that Jesus’ did in his gospel: “there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written” (John 21:25).
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