THE BOOK OF, that is, the book of the upright, or of the excellent, noble-minded. This work is mentioned in Jos 10:13, and 2Sa 1:18, and would seem to have been a collection of national, historical, triumphal, and elegiac songs, which was still extant in the time of David. Josephus speaks of a book of Jasher as then existing in the temple, but nothing is known respecting it. The books now published under this name are gross forgeries.
upright. "The Book of Jasher," rendered in the LXX. "the Book of the Upright One," by the Vulgate "the Book of Just Ones," was probably a kind of national sacred song-book, a collection of songs in praise of the heroes of Israel, a "book of golden deeds," a national anthology. We have only two specimens from the book, (1) the words of Joshua which he spake to the Lord at the crisis of the battle of Beth-horon (Jos 10:12-13); and (2) "the Song of the Bow," that beautiful and touching mournful elegy which David composed on the occasion of the death of Saul and Jonathan (2Sa 1:18-27).
A book alluded to only in Jos 10:13 as containing Joshua's, miracle of commanding the sun and the moon to stand still; 2Sa 1:18 as containing David's elegy over Saul and Jonathan, entitled the "bow" song, celebrating Jonathan famous for the bow (compare 2Sa 1:22 and Psalm 60), a national song to be "taught'" to the people (not "he bade them teach the children of Judah (the use of) the bow"): De 31:19. (See DAVID.) Jasher means upright. Jeshurun is the upright nation (so in its ideal), namely, Israel. So Septuagint "the book of the upright one"; Vulgate "the book of just ones"; the Syriac, "the book of praise songs," from Hebrew yashir. Ex 15:1, "then sang." This Book of Jasher was a kind of national sacred songbook, continued from age to age, according as great crises moved Israelites to mighty deeds, and poets to immortalize them; like the "chronicles" of the kings of Israel often alluded to in later times.
So the Book of Psalms, beginning with David's, received fresh accessions from age to age down to the time of the return from Babylon, when it was completed. "The Book of the Wars of the Lord" (Nu 21:14-15) similarly records in sacred odes Israel's triumphant progress; of these we have left the fragment as to passing the Arnon, the song of the well, and that on the conquest of Sihon's kingdom (Nu 21:17-18,27-30). The Targum and Jarchi explain, "the book of the law." Jerome (on Isa 44:2) mentions that Genesis was called" the book of the just." The only two specimens of the Book of Jasher extant are rhythmical. In this respect, and in its being uninspired or at least not preserved as part of our inspired canon, this book differs from the Pentateuch; both alike record successively the exploits of Jeshurun, the ideally upright nation.
Ja'sher Book of.
A book only referred to in Jos 10:13; 2Sa 1:18, and of which nothing further is known. The quotations are poetical. There are several writings extant bearing the above title, but neither of them have any connection with the one alluded to in scripture.
(upright),Book of ("the book of the upright"), alluded to in two passages only of the Old Testament.
and 2Sam 1:18 It was probably written in verse; and it has been conjectured that it was a collection of ancient records of honored men or noble deeds. It is wholly lost.