The Book of Jasher


“On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: ‘O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.’ So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on it enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jasher.” (Joshua 10:12-13)

“David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, and ordered that the men of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):” (2 Samuel 1:18)

The Book of Jasher or Jashar, pronounced Ya-share, as it was called in the Septuagint meaning “upright”. In the Latin Vulgate it was named, The Book of the Upright One. It can be found in both Joshua 10:13 and II Samuel 1:18. There is also an allusion to the book in I Kings 8:12-13 during Solomon’s prayer. This book is not so offhandedly mentioned. For example, when Joshua prays to the Lord for there to be prolonged sunlight in order for him and his troops to defeat the five kings of the Amorites and their armies in battle. God then listens and honors his request and, “so the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies...” (Joshua 10:13).

Here, God literally prolongs the time in which the sun stayed up. According to the Bible, this is also the only time in which God listened to a man (Joshua 10:14). I would say this is a very significant day and event in history. Interestingly enough, it is all written and recorded in this unkown book called, the Book of Jasher.

In yet another event, just after hearing of King Saul and his son Jonathan’s demise during battle, David tears his clothes and offers a lament to them. David in fact orders all the men of Judah to be taught this lament. The entire lament is recorded in II Samuel 1:19-27 and can also be found and recorded in the Book of Jasher. This entire event occurs just prior to King David’s crowning to be king over eventually all of Israel.

So just what is the Book of Jasher?

The Book of Jasher was written in verse and is assumed that it was put to music. It is of a Hebraic origin and has been “conjectured that it is a collection of ancient records of honored men and noble deeds.” (1) It is known that the book itself was written before the Book of Joshua was. The Book of Joshua was probably written during Joshua’s life, or soon after his death (1420 BC). This would place the writing of the Book of Jasher somewhere on or before 1440 BC. Not much else is known about the book except that it is wholly lost. Nowhere has it ever been found.