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When it was disclosed to Levi that he was about to die, he gathered all his children around him, to tell them the story of his life, and he also prophesied unto them what they would do, and what would happen to them until the judgment day. He spoke: "When we were pasturing the flocks in Abel-Meholah, the spirit of understanding of the Lord came upon me, and I saw all mankind, how they corrupt their ways, and that injustice builds up walls for herself, and impiety sits enthroned upon the towers. And I fell to grieving over the generations of men, and I prayed to the Lord to save me. Sleep enshrouded me, and I beheld a tall mountain, and lo! the heavens opened, and an angel of God addressed me, and said: 'Levi, enter!'

"I entered the first heaven, and I saw a great sea hanging there, and farther on I saw a second heaven, brighter and more resplendent than the first. I said to the angel, 'Why is this so?' And the angel said to me, 'Marvel not at this, for thou shalt see another heaven, brilliant beyond compare, and when thou hast ascended thither, thou shalt stand near the Lord, and thou shalt be His minister, and declare His mysteries to men; and of the Lord's portion shall be thy life, and He shall be thy field and vineyard and fruits and gold and silver.'

"Then the angel explained the uses of the different heavens to me, and all that happens in each, and he proclaimed the judgment day. He opened the gates of the third heaven, where I beheld the holy Temple, and God seated upon the Throne of Glory. The Lord spake to me: 'Levi, upon thee have I bestowed the blessing of the priesthood, until I come and dwell in the midst of Israel.' Then the angel carried me back to earth, and gave me a shield and a sword, saying, 'Execute vengeance upon Shechem for Dinah, and I will be with thee, for the Lord hath sent me.' I asked the angel what his name was, and he replied: 'I am the angel that intercedes for the people of Israel, that it may not be destroyed utterly, for every evil spirit attacks it.'

"When I awoke, I betook myself to my father, and on the way, near Gebal, I found a brass shield, such as I had seen in my dream. Then I advised my father and my brother Reuben to bid the sons of Hamor circumcise themselves, for I was quivering with rage on account of the abominable deed they had done. I slew Shechem first of all, and then Simon slew Hamor, and all my other brothers came out and destroyed the whole city. Our father took this in ill part, and in his blessing he remembered our conduct. Although we did a wrong thing in acting thus against his wishes, yet I recognized it to be the judgment of God upon the people of Shechem on account of their sins, and I said to my father: 'Be not wroth, my lord, for God will exterminate the Canaanites through this, and he will give the land to thee and to thy seed after thee. Henceforth Shechem will be called the city of imbeciles, for as a fool is mocked at, so have we made a mockery of them.'

"When we journeyed to Beth-lehem, and had been abiding there for seventy days, another vision was vouchsafed me, like unto the former. I saw seven men clad in white, and they spake to me, saying: 'Rise up, and array thyself in the priestly garments, set the crown of righteousness upon thy head, and put on the ephod of understanding, and the robe of truth, and the mitre-plate of faith, and the mitre of dignity, and the shoulderpieces of prophecy.' And each of the men brought a garment unto me and invested me therewith, and spake: 'Henceforth be the priest of the Lord, thou and thy seed unto eternity. And ye shall eat all that is lovely to look upon, and the table of the Lord thy descendants will appropriate for themselves, and from them will come high priests, judges, and scholars, for all that is holy will be guarded by their mouth.'

"Two days after I was visited by this dream, Judah and I repaired to our grandfather Isaac, who blessed me in accordance with the words I had heard. Jacob also had a vision, and he saw, too, that I was appointed to be the priest of God, and through me he set apart a tenth of his possessions unto the Lord. And when we established ourselves in Hebron, the residence of Isaac, our grandfather taught me the law of the priesthood, and admonished me to hold myself aloof from unchastity.

At the age of twenty-eight years I took Milcah to wife, and she bore me a son, and I named him Gershom, because we were strangers in the land. But I perceived he would not be in the first ranks of men. My second son was born unto me in my thirty-fifth year, and he saw the light of the world at sunrise, and I beheld him in a vision standing among the proud of the assembly, and therefore I gave him the name Kohath. The third son my wife bore me in the fortieth year of my life, and I called his name Merari, because bitter had been her travail in bearing him. My daughter Jochebed was born in Egypt, when I was sixty-three years old, and I called her thus because I was known honorably among my brethren in those days. And in my ninety- fourth year, Amram took Jochebed to wife, he that was born on the same day with her."

Thereupon Levi admonished his children to walk in the ways of the Lord, and fear Him with all their heart, and he told them what he had learnt from the writings of Enoch, that his descendants would sin against the Lord in times to come, and they would suffer the Divine punishment for their transgression, and then God would raise up a new priest, unto whom all the words of the Lord would be revealed. His last words were: "And now, my children, ye have heard all I have to say. Choose, now, light or darkness, the law of the Lord or the works of Beliar." And his sons made answer, "Before the Lord we will walk according to His law." Then Levi spake, "The Lord is witness and the angels are witnesses, I am witness and ye are witnesses, concerning the word of your mouth." And his sons replied, "We are witnesses."

Thus Levi ceased to admonish his sons. He stretched out his feet, and was gathered unto his fathers, at the age of one hundred and thirty-seven years, a greater age than any of his brethren attained.[9]

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