1 In those days there was no Worker of Iron in all the Land, And the Merchants of Midian passed by with their Camels, bearing Spices, and Myrrh, and Balm, and Wares of Iron. And Reuben bought an Ax from the Ishmaelite Merchants, which he prized highly, for there were none in his Father’s house.
2 And Simeon said unto Reuben his Brother, lend me I pray thee, thine Ax: But he refused, and would not.
3 And Levi also said unto him, My Brother, lend me thine Ax. And he refused him also.
4 Then came Judah unto Reuben and entreated him, saying, Lo, thou lovest me, and I have always loved thee do not refuse me the use of thine Ax, for I desire it earnestly.
5 But Reuben turned from him, and refused him Like-wise.
6 Now it came to pass that Reuben hewed Timber on the Bank of the River, and the Ax fell therein, and he could by no means find it.
7 But Simeon, Levi and Judah, had sent a Mesenger after the Ishmaelites with money and had bought for each of them an Ax also.
8 Then came Reuben unto Simeon, and said unto him, Lo, I have lost mine Ax, and my work is unfinished, lend me thine I pray thee.
9 And Simeon answered, saying, Thou wouldst not lend me thine Ax, therefore will I not lend thee mine.
10 Then went he unto Levi, and said unto him, My Brother, thou knowest my Loss and my Necessity; lend me, I pray thee, thine Ax.
11 And Levi reproached him, saying, Thou wouldest not lend me thine when I desired it, but I will be better than thee, and will lend thee mine.
12 And Reuben was grieved at the Rebuke of Levi; and being ashamed, turned from him, and took not the Ax; but sought his Brother Judah.
13 And as he drew near, Judah beheld his Countenance as it were confused with Grief and shame; and he prevented him, saying, My Brother, I know thy Loss, but why should it grieve thee? Lo, have I not an Ax that will serve both thee and me? take it I pray thee, and use it as thine own.
14 And Reuben fell on his Neck, and kissed him with Tears, saying, Thy Kindness is great, but thy Goodness in forgiving me is greater. Lo thou art indeed a Brother, and whilst I live will I surely love thee.
15 And Judah said, Let us also love our other Brethren; Behold, are we not all of one Blood.
16 And Joseph saw these Things, and reported them to his Father Jacob.
17 And Jacob said, Reuben did wrong but he repented, Simeon also did wrong, and Levi was not altogether blameless.
18 But the Heart of Judah is princely. Judah hath the Soul of a King. His Fathers Children shall bow down before him, and he shall rule over his Brethren, nor shall the Sceptre depart from his house, nor a Lawgiver from between his Feet, until Shiloh come.