What is the book of Jasher? Is it one of the Books of the Holy Bible or the Torah (Pentateuch)? How was it mentioned in the Book of Joshua and in the Book of 2 Samuel and yet it is not part of the Bible?
The word “book” could mean any book; religious or secular.
The book of Jasher is an old secular book which included the popular songs, that were in circulation among the Jews, which were based on important religious and secular events. Some of these songs were military songs for the soldiers.
This book dates back to 1000-800 BC, more than 500 years after Moses the Prophet. It contained things pertaining to David the Prophet and his lamentation for king Saul.
It is not part of the Torah (Pentateuch) of Moses, for it included events that happened many centuries after Moses.
People chanted some of the important historical events of the olden times, and wrote hymns about these events and gathered them in this book which grew by time and had nothing to do with the Divine inspiration.
An example is: The battle of Gideon during the days of Joshua, where the sun stood still. The people wrote songs about this. These were added on to the book of Jasher. Joshua referred to them saying “Is this not written in the book of Jasher” (Josh. 10:13), which meant isn’t this one of the important current events, that because of its fame, popular songs were written about, in secular books as the book of Jasher.
Also, the beautiful and moving song, by which David mourned king Saul and his son Jonathan, the people admired and chanted it. They included it in their popular secular books, since it concerned the killing of their first king along with the successor to his throne. So when this event was told in the Book of 2nd Samuel, it was said about it “indeed it is written in the book of Jasher” (2 Sam. 1:17) which meant that the lamentation of David became a popular song, the people added it to their book of hymns known as the Book of Jasher. This is exactly as we speak about a famous event that is mentioned in the Holy Bible as it is also mentioned in the history books.
Finally: did the Jews omit it from the Torah (the Pentateuch) for a religious reason? and the answer is clear:
A. It is not part of the Torah. For the Torah is the five Books of Moses which are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
B. If the Jews wanted to hide it for a religious reason, they would not mention it in the Book of Joshua and the Book of Samuel the Prophet.
C. The oldest and most famous translation of the Old Testament which is the Septuagint that was written in the third century BC does not include this book.