An angel confronts Methuselah – Methuselah’s excuse for not returning to Zion – “Is
this the liberty which God would give?” – The confusion of Methuselah – The angel
explains the liberty of God – Methuselah refuses to forsake Elon – Jandrus marches
against Perga – The deception of Yasher-Baal works – Death of Elon and the execution
of 20,000 – Methuselah weeps for Elon Zanoah – Yasher-Baal turns his army towards
1 Now it came to pass that an angel of the Lord came to Methuselah and spoke unto
him, saying: “Get up and remove yourself from the lands of Sumer, for evil shall
come upon the land of Perga to war against the man Elon.
2 Therefore, return unto Zion and live. For your God, even he who created all things
for the good of man, wills not that you should perish.”
3 But Methuselah answered, saying: “Should the prophet of God be made to flee in
the moment of danger? Shall I be made to forsake Elon in the day of trouble, seeing
that he shall go to battle against Yasher-Baal?
4 Consider how the children of men seek to be made free from the abominations of
Sumer. Will God hide himself in the moment of distress, that the good be slain upon
the fields of war so that wickedness might live?
5 Behold, this is not good in the eyes of the children of men. Therefore, I shall
stand beside the son of liberty, that he might be made victorious over the armies
of Sumer, that he might wrest from the father of abominations, even Yasher-Baal,
the freedom of all this people.”
6 And the angel spoke unto Methuselah, saying: “Is this the liberty unto which God
has called so many, to lift against the wicked the sword of violence that they might
perish in their sins?
7 Is not this the liberty wherein God should make you free, that all who should
have desires might seek the Father of Heaven, and that finding him they might be
made free from sin by the showing forth of his grace unto them?
8 Therefore, unto as many as shall repent and turn again unto God shall the Spirit
of his holiness attend unto eternal life and exaltation, that all who are faithful
to do good always might inherit the fullness of his glory.
9 For the liberty wherein God shall make you free comes first by repentance, that
by a godly walk and holy conversation you might establish yourself above the vain
imaginations of men, that evil should no longer have place among you unto death.
10 Thus, by the holiness which is in God, shall the righteous find release, that
death might no longer be as a terror unto the children of promise.
11 For the night which comes upon so many shall be as the morning unto the righteous,
for surely God shall set at liberty the souls of the just, that they might find rest
in the bosom of their Father.
12 Now consider how that Yasher-Baal is but a man. Shall the liberty of God be purchased
by the death of such a one as he?
13 Does God desire that men should be made free from the sons of men, or free from
the bondage of fear and wickedness, that haply they might find unto their greater
joy the Father of their soul?
14 Therefore, choose for yourself the liberty wherein you shall be made free. For
is not the liberty unto which God has called so many greater than the liberty whereunto
men are made to perish by the sword?”
15 But Methuselah answered, saying: “How can this thing be? Is it not good that
men should be free to choose for themselves good or evil? Does God not desire that
the children of men be made free from the abominations of Yasher-Baal and Rahob?
16 Shall God not desire that wickedness be made to perish by the sword, that the
children of men might be made free of sin?
17 How say you then that God desires not the death of the wicked whereby the sons
of men might be made free from abominations?”
18 And the angel answered, saying: “Are you a prophet of God and you understand
not these things? Choose which is the greater: the liberty wherein God shall make
you free from evil, or that liberty which the sons of men desire to take by the sword?
19 Unto which of these shall the glory of God attend: the liberty wherein God shall
say unto you on the day of acceptation:
20 ‘Behold, you are my son now and forevermore, for this day have I begotten you.
Now receive unto your soul the joy of your Father, even unto life eternal and exaltation
in the kingdom of God.’
21 Or shall you prefer that liberty which is born of the sword and not of God? Shall
this lesser liberty deliver the children of men from the terror of the grave, or
is God alone able to deliver?
22 How shall the children of men be made free from sin by the death of Yasher-Baal?
Shall not another come in his place to conspire against the innocent, that he might
bring them again into bondage?
23 Shall you kill him also? Is this the liberty that you desire for the children
of men? How shall the shedding of blood make you free?
24 For if you would be free from the abominations of Yasher-Baal, it shall not be
had by the death of the wicked or the fallen.
25 For the liberty unto which God has called so many can only be had by choosing
the good over the evil, that as many as are willing might walk uprightly before God
26 Now hear and understand, for the God of Heaven and earth desires that all men
should be made free in him, according as they shall desire; for this cause did the
spirits of the Holy One descend unto the earth.
27 Wherefore, seeing that God has made you free indeed, what evil shall cause you
to be separated from the love of God? By what design shall the children of abomination
separate you from the glory which God has called you to receive?
28 Be persuaded, therefore, by the power of God to choose the good and forsake evil,
that you might be free according to the wisdom which is in God.”
29 Now when Methuselah heard these words, he grew heavy of heart, for he despaired
over the man Elon, and would not that he should forsake him in the moment of need.
30 So the son of Enoch turned away from the angel of the Lord, and turning his face
towards Perga, he journeyed three days unto the plains of Luzon, for he desired to
stand beside Elon, that perhaps he might be made victorious over Yasher-Baal.
31 For this cause did God grieve for Methuselah, for he did choose the lesser part
and would not give heed unto God for Elon’s sake.
32 But Jandrus, the son of Cain, marched boldly against Perga with his ten thousand,
laying waste all the country round about, which thing caused Elon to gather all his
men, that he might lie in wait for him.
33 Now Yasher-Baal took the hosts of Sumer, even three hundred thousand men prepared
for war, and he did divide them into two armies.
34 And they marched beyond the lands of Perga, that they might encompass the army
of Elon round about.
35 Wherefore, Elon, seeing only the ten thousand of Jandrus, supposed that he could
with his thirty thousand crush him all together. For it was thought by many, Elon
also, that the lord Yasher-Baal commanded.
36 So Elon with a mighty shout leaped into battle, and he fell upon the host of
Jandrus to slaughter, but in the moment of battle, there came up round about Elon
the hosts of Sumer.
37 Now when they saw round about them the armies of Sumer, they grew fearful of
38 Nevertheless, the men of Perga followed Elon into battle, and the glory of Perga
was made to perish, for behold, the man Elon did perish by the sword, and with him
ten thousand of Perga also.
39 Thus did Yasher-Baal cause to perish the son of liberty. And he took captive
twenty thousand of the host of Elon, and he did cause them, even every man among
them, to die upon the stake.
40 From the gates of Calneh even unto the gates of Sumer did Yasher-Baal cause to
die upon the stake all the followers of Elon Zanoah.
41 And Methuselah, beholding this from afar, wept for the men of Perga, and for
Elon did he cry aloud.
42 But there came unto him the angel of the Lord warning him to flee into the wilderness,
for Yasher-Baal sought earnestly the son of Enoch, that he might put him to death
43 Now all the men of Sumer rejoiced in Yasher-Baal, for there was none among the
children of men who could withstand him in the moment of battle;
44 For he possessed great cunning and his daring was beyond measure, and all the
inhabitants of the land grew fearful of him because of his great wickedness.
45 Therefore, did Yasher-Baal boast in the strength of his power, for his greatness
was beyond measure in his own eyes, and beholding the mighty hosts of Sumer, even
three hundred thousand dressed for war, he turned his face eastward towards Zion.