Reuben, that he had repented of his trespass against his
father, and atoned for it by penance. He was thus assured
that all his sons were men worthy of being the progenitors
of the twelve tribes, and he was blessed with happiness such
as neither Abraham nor Isaac had known, for both of them
had had unworthy as well as worthy sons.[356]

Until the time of Jacob death had always come upon
men suddenly, and snatched them away before they were
warned of the imminent end by sickness. Once Jacob spoke
to God, saying, "O Lord of the world, a man dies suddenly,
and he is not laid low first by sickness, and he cannot acquaint
his children with his wishes regarding all he leaves
behind. But if a man first fell sick, and felt that his end
were drawing nigh, he would have time to set his house in

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