Azotus is kidnapped from Zion and put on trial – Busiris, the chief judge of Sumer
condemns Azotus and demands repentance – Azotus refuses to beg mercy from the wicked
– Yasher-Baal passes judgment against Azotus and his family – Azotus is executed,
attended by angels
1 Now Azotus lived beside his wife, Marisa, in Zion one score year and ten; and
they had many sons and daughters. And all the children of God had regard for him,
for he was diligent to follow the whisperings of God always.
2 But on a certain day Azotus went walking outside the walls of the city to see
for himself the promise of harvest among the fields and orchards.
3 And as he journeyed about, behold, there fell upon him certain strong men of the
house of Yasher-Baal. And they bound him with strong cords, and when it was dark
they brought him again unto Sumer.
4 So they brought Azotus before the nobles of Sumer, beaten and bruised, for they
would that even all should see this one who betrayed both city and king for Zion’s
5 And there was gathered in the king’s court all the great and mighty men of Sumer,
and with them also sat the kings and nobles of Kish, Shinar, Uruk, Calneh, and Babel.
6 And lord Yasher-Baal entered among them dressed in crimson and gold, carrying
in his hands the sword of Cain his father.
7 And he sat himself down upon a throne made rich with gold and silver, being adorned
with a variety of precious stones and curious workmanship.
8 And as he sat amid his glory and splendor, being gathered round about by a multitude
of mighty men, he caused to sit beside him the nine judges of the law.
9 Now the chief judge was a man named Busiris of the house of Avaak, and he caused
to be brought before all the people the tablets of clay whereupon the laws of the
kingdom were written.
10 And he spoke with great swelling words unto the king, saying: “Great lord and
mighty king, behold the man Azotus, whom you have caused to be brought before all
the people of the kingdom. What is your charge against this man, my lord king?”
11 And Yasher-Baal arose from the throne upon which he sat, and pointing to Azotus
declared unto the people: “This man made covenant with the hosts of Sumer to serve
his lord and king, even to the shedding of his own blood.
12 This oath and covenant, which he made before many witnesses, did he break and
trample under the foot of treachery. For by the hand of this man was Sumer made to
tremble before the walls of Zion.
13 By reason of his betrayal were the mighty and the noble made to scatter as chaff
in the wind before the eyes of our enemies, that the glory of Sumer might be as a
mockery before the children of men.
14 Therefore, give ear unto the words of your lord and king, and consider how just
your decision should be before the laws which you have caused to be written upon
these tablets of clay.
15 For this man has forsaken the inheritance of his brethren. Therefore, it is needful
that he be punished by the law, that he might be made an example unto the people.
For by his blood did he swear unto the king. Therefore, let his blood be shed as
atonement for his wickedness.
16 Now as you shall pass judgment upon this man, even so, let us pass judgment upon
the father who sired him, who gave unto such a one as he the breath of life.
17 And all the children of his loins shall you judge also, that we might remove
from the midst of Sumer the seeds of his treachery and deceit. And all that belongs
unto the house of Paran shall you forfeit unto the treasury of the king.
18 Now you judges of the law, be wise and consider neither the right nor the wrong,
for above these things does the law claim dominion.
19 For it is needful that you set before the eyes of men an example of judgment,
that they might be forewarned against sin, that they might find wisdom and safety
in obedience to the laws of men.”
20 When Yasher-Baal had finished speaking these things before all the mighty of
Sumer, he charged the judges of the law that they should sit in judgment before the
people, that all might know of the sin of Azotus, and that all who were made witnesses
might be made fearful of the law.
21 And he caused to be brought before the people, Paran, the father of Azotus, and
he was great with age. And with him also did they bring all the children of his loins,
insomuch that they caused to stand before the laws of Sumer one hundred and forty
22 Now the chief judge of the law, even Busiris, caused to kneel before the king
Azotus of Zion, and he spoke to him, saying:
23 “Have you heard the charge brought against you by your lord and king, Yasher-Baal?
What say you then? Will you not now repent of your evil? Perchance you shall receive
mercy before the law.”
24 And Azotus spoke boldly before all the noble and mighty gathered there, saying:
“I have no lord, neither king over me. For God alone is both Lord and King, and beside
him there is no other.
25 Of what sin shall I be made to repent, seeing that I have come to a knowledge
of God? Is the life of the body so precious that I should be made to beg mercy at
the hands of the wicked?”
26 Now when the chief judge heard these words, he grew angry and he caused that
Azotus should be struck upon the face. And Busiris spoke, saying:
27 “You are an ignorant and prideful man! Will you not humble yourself even now,
seeing that I have power to slay you and your kinsmen?”
28 And Azotus answered, saying: “Before God only shall I be humble. As for this
Yasher-Baal fellow, he is but a man like unto me. Why then should I be made to tremble
before him, seeing that he is not greater than God?”
29 When he said these things unto the chief judge, there was a great commotion made
against him, for the nobles of Sumer became exceedingly angry against him, for he
had no regard for their lord Yasher-Baal.
30 And the chief judge took counsel with the other judges of the law, and one spoke
unto him, saying: “Tell us, Azotus, where is your dwelling place to be found? Is
it with your brethren with whom together you did covenant to obey the lord Yasher-Baal,
or is it some other place?”
31 And he answered, saying: “Know you not that I dwell in Zion? For there unto did
I take refuge these many years ago, that I might escape the wickedness of Sumer,
for it was given unto me to choose between the good and the evil.
32 For this cause did I come to dwell in Zion, that I might walk peaceably among
the children of men, for in the city of God are none made to fear because of the
wickedness of men.
33 And I saw that it was good that I should take Marisa, the daughter of Adami and
Bashia, to wife. For when I compare her grace and goodness unto me, how then should
I be made to fear again?
34 Of what then shall you make me afraid, seeing that these many years the God of
Zion has been as a light unto me? Wherewith shall you cause me to tremble, seeing
that the Lord of Hosts is the strength of my life? What power have you to separate
me from the Father of my soul?”
35 Now when the judges of the law heard this, they did rend their garments with
much indignation. And Busiris exclaimed aloud, saying: “You men of Sumer bear witness
before your lord and king concerning this man’s treason.
36 For with your own ears have you heard this Azotus speak of his guilt before you.
What further evidence do you need, seeing that this man has called all the good and
noble of Sumer evil?
37 Behold the haughtiness of Azotus, the son of Paran, for the covenant which he
did swear by his own blood has he broken and trodden under foot; the laws of Sumer
has he made a mockery; the god of our fathers, even our lord and king, has he scorned
before many witnesses.
38 Therefore, what shall be done to this man? For by his own mouth has he confessed
his crime. For the love of a woman was he made to break faith with you and flee unto
39 Consider how this man has become so possessed of God that he should scorn mercy
and life all together. Behold this madness which has possessed him, that he should
ridicule the greatness of Sumer’s glory.
40 Shall we give mercy to such a one as he? Shall we give consent to such madness?
You mighty men of Sumer, what shall the law do to this Azotus who has esteemed lightly
the laws and decrees under which we are made to give account?”
41 And all the mighty men of Sumer spoke out in much anger against the son of Paran,
insomuch that if it were possible, they would have rushed upon him to slay him, for
his boldness did trouble them unto wickedness. And they condemned him, even every
one, that he should die.
42 Now in that moment stood forth Yasher-Baal, and he spoke to Azotus, saying: “These
many years have I waited for you. Now hear the judgment which shall be passed upon
you, and not you only, for the law shall take both your father and your many brethren
and judge them beside you, that we might be diligent to remove your evil far from
43 For the roots of evil are deep and sure. Therefore shall the laws of Sumer cut
the tree at the root, that your evil might have no place among us.
44 Thus shall all the sons of men behold your judgment, and they shall fear greatly
the laws of Sumer and of men. And they shall be made to hold back their hands from
the evil of Azotus, the son of Paran.
45 Therefore, this shall be your judgment before the law. Your father, Paran, shall
be stripped of all his honor, and also shall be taken all his lands, and houses,
and these things shall go to the lord and king of Sumer.
46 And he shall be taken before the walls of the city, and his head shall I cause
to be struck from his body. And he shall be left as carrion for the wild beasts of
the fields, and the birds of the air shall feed upon his flesh.
47 And from all your brethren shall I cause that the power of their loins shall
be cut off. And they shall become as slaves unto the mighty of Sumer, for they shall
be made to eat their bread with sorrow beside the ox and the ass.
48 And all the children of their loins shall the law bring into bondage and servitude;
their wives shall the law take captive, and they shall become as harlots to satisfy
the lusts of all who come in unto them. All this shall the law do unto the house
49 But unto you, Azotus, shall the law delight in harshness. For you shall be taken
before the people, and you shall be beaten with many rods, and they shall take you,
and before all the men of Sumer shall you be made to die upon the stake.”
50 So spoke Yasher-Baal in the midst of his pride and splendor. But Azotus, standing
boldly before his accusers spoke, saying: “Death is but a fleeting thing, and the
pain that men endure, but a moment.
51 For all things, whether great or small, shall pass away. But the life of man,
this shall not pass away, even though death press hard against us. For behold how
the day flees into night, and the night rushes into day; even so is the life of all
52 Consider, therefore, the life of man. For we are born unto death, that in our
passing we might be born again unto life.
53 How then shall you destroy the life of the soul, seeing that it is of God and
must ever continue? Did you not know that the ways of God are as one eternal round,
even until that day when the soul of man is exalted again unto God?
54 Ponder, therefore, and learn wisdom. For the evil which you have brought upon
the innocent shall the eternal round of God cause to vanish away, and all your glory
also. For in the hand of God shall the good alone find place.”
55 Now when Azotus had finished speaking, the judges of the law delivered the house
of Paran unto judgment, and there was heard great weeping and wailing.
56 And Azotus they took bound unto the field of blood, and strong men did beat him
with many rods, even until the flesh fell from his body.
57 And when this was completed, they did take him and thrust him upon the stake
before all the people, and all who dwelt in Sumer were made to mock him and ridicule
58 Yet in the nighttime, certain passers-by were filled with wonder, for they heard
Azotus singing softly upon his breast the songs of Marisa, when first she sang by
59 And in the night was Azotus delivered by the hand of God, for in the stillness
of the night did the angels attend unto him.
60 And the soul of the godly was taken by the Father of his spirit unto life eternal,
that he might find rest beside the throne of God.