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When Zebulon attained the age of one hundred and fourteen years, which was two years after the death of Joseph, he called his sons together, and admonished them, in these words, to lead a life of piety: "I am Zebulon, a precious gift for my parents, for when I was born, my father became very rich, by means of the streaked rods, in herds of sheep and herds of cattle. I am conscious of no sin in me, and I remember no wrong done by me, unless it be the unwitting sin committed against Joseph, in that I did not, out of consideration for my brethren, disclose to my father what had happened to his favorite son, though in secret I mourned exceedingly. I feared my brethren, because they had agreed that he who betrayed the secret should be slain with the sword. When they planned to kill Joseph, I besought them amid tears not to sin thus.

"And now, my children, hearken unto me. I exhort you to observe the commands of the Lord, and have mercy upon your neighbors, and act compassionately, not only toward men, but also toward dumb brutes. For on account of my mercifulness the Lord blessed me; all my brethren fell sick at one time or another, but I escaped without any illness. Also the sons of my brethren had to endure disease, and they were nigh unto death for the sake of Joseph, because they had no pity in their hearts. But my sons were preserved in perfect health, as ye well know. And when I was in Canaan, catching fish at the shores of the sea for my father Jacob, many were drowned in the waters of the sea, but I came away unharmed. For ye must know that I was the first to build a boat for rowing upon the sea, and I plied along the coasts in it, and caught fish for my father's household, until we went down into Egypt. Out of pity I would share my haul with the poor stranger, and if he was sick or well on in years, I would prepare a savory dish for him, and I gave unto each according to his needs, sympathizing with him in his distress and having pity upon him. Therefore the Lord brought numerous fish to my nets, for he that gives aught to his neighbor, receives it back from the Lord with great increase. For five years I fished in the summer, and in the winter I pastured the flocks with my brethren.

"Now, my children, have pity and compassion on all men, that the Lord may have pity and compassion on you, for in the measure in which man has mercy with his fellow-men, God has mercy with him. When we came down into Egypt, Joseph did not visit upon us the wrong he had suffered. Take him as your model, and remember not a wrong done unto you, else unity is rent asunder, and the bonds of kinship are torn, and the soul is disquieted. Observe the water! If it runs on undivided, it carries down stone, wood, and sand along with it. But if it is divided and flows through many channels, the earth sucks it up, and it loses its force. If you separate, one from the other, you will be like divided waters. Be not cleft into two heads, for all that the Lord hath made has but one head. He has given two shoulders unto his creatures, two hands, and two feet, but all these organs obey one head."

Zebulon ended his exhortation unto unity with an account of the divisions in Israel, whereof he had read in the writings of the fathers, that they would come about in future days, and bring sore suffering upon Israel. However, he spoke encouraging words to his children, saying: "Be not grieved over my death, and do not lose heart at my departure from you, for I shall arise again in the midst of you, and I shall live joyously among the people of my tribe, those who observe the law of the Lord. As for the godless, the Lord will bring everlasting fire down upon them, and exterminate them unto all generations. Now I hasten hence unto my eternal rest with my fathers. But ye, fear ye the Lord your God with all your might all the days of your life."

Having made an end of saying these words, he sank into the sleep of death, and his sons put him into a coffin, wherein they carried him up to Hebron later, to bury him there next to his fathers.[12]

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