What Does Sefer HaYashar Say About the Tower of Babel?

Below is my response to the Rabbi.


The only reference that I have found thus far in Sefer HaYashar occurs in chapter 9 (1). But I still cannot seem to find anything showing that a class structure was involved. It does reiterate the statements found in Sanhedrin 109a and Rashi’s commentary about unity of the people and the three proposed purposes for construction of the tower. It also states that there was more concern for the tower itself rather than the builders, but it refers to all inhabitants of Shinar as the builders. It was explained in a way that was consistent with idol worship which the book stated was prevalent at the time.

I do see that Sefer HaYashar does have much more detailed information concerning Nimrod as well as other accounts. I thought the Book of Jasher was a Mormon document though and have dismissed it as such in the past. Is it considered to be a valid Jewish text? If so, I should pick myself up a copy. I am always eager to add to my ever growing library. (Of course at this rate, my apartment is becoming wall to wall bookshelves.)

I found the following quote online that I thought gave an interesting history of the book.

"Explicit evidence that the Book of Jasher was not considered scripture anciently is given in its Hebrew preface. The account is there quoted that when Ptolemy, king of Egypt, requested to have the Jewish holy books, the Israelites felt they could not give the gentiles their sacred writ, so they sent him the Book of Jasher. He was said to have prized it highly, but then discovered it was not their sacred law. When he confronted the Jews, they agreed to translate their Old Testament into Greek, which became known as the Septuagint."(2)

 

References:

(1) (Samuel, Moses. 1887. The Book of Jasher. Salt Lake City: J.H. Parry & Company. Available from http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/apo/jasher/9.htm; accessed 9 November 2005.)

(2) (Pratt, John P. 2002. How Did the Book of Jasher Know. Meridian Magazine. 7 January. Internet. Available from http://www.meridianmagazine.com/sci_rel/020107jasher.html; accessed 9 November 2005.)