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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Apocrypha of the New Testament.: Chapter 2

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 2.

And it came to pass that the festival of the dedication 1691 was at hand; wherefore also Joachim went up to Jerusalem with some men of his own tribe.  Now at that time Issachar 1692 was high priest there.  And when he saw Joachim with his offering among his other fellow-citizens, he despised him, and spurned his gifts, asking why he, who had no offspring, presumed to stand among those who had; saying that his gifts could not by any means be acceptable to God, since He had deemed him unworthy of off-spring:  for the Scripture said, Cursed is every one who has not begot a male or a female in Israel. 1693   He said, therefore, that he ought first to be freed from this curse by the begetting of children; and then, and then only, that he should come into the presence of the Lord with his offerings.  And Joachim, covered with shame from this reproach that was thrown in his teeth, retired to the shepherds, who were in their pastures with their flocks; nor would he return home, lest perchance he might be branded with the same reproach by those of his own tribe, who were there at the time, and had heard this from the priest.



1 Macc. 4:52, 2 Macc. 10:1, John 10:22; Josephus, Antiq. xii. 7.


The spelling in the text is that in the Hebrew, the Samaritan Codex, the Targums, and the Textus Receptus.  There is no Issachar in the list of high priests.


This statement does not occur in Scripture in so many words; but sterility was looked upon as a punishment from God.

Next: Chapter 3