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Chapter 2


The men who rule are troubled – The fame of John the Baptizer – Herodians test John – “Which of the prophets have your fathers not persecuted?” – The Anointed One shall purge his house – John speaks of the temple which Herod built – John speaks to a Zealot concerning the Anointed One – Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – “Mark well the goodly man” – John dreams a dream, waits by the river Jordan for three days and nights – “Behold, O Israel, he comes”

 

1  In the third year of Pilate’s rule did all Galilee and Judea become troubled because of John, for he sent forth his disciples to all the regions round about, preaching always that the kingdom of Heaven was near at hand and baptizing many unto repentance.

2 Hearing, therefore, that John baptized in the waters of Jordan, by the lands of Perea, Pilate inquired of Herod Antipas concerning him; for the Jews were ever disputing among themselves the coming of the Anointed One, seeking always to throw off the yoke and power of Rome.

3  For there had arisen aforetime, Judas of Gamala, the Galilean who refused the census of Quirinius, and in great wrath he caused that many should lift the sword against Caesar, and there was crucified of his followers some two thousand souls.

4  Now Herod, hearing from Pilate concerning this John, called forth from among his ministries certain men and commanded that they should see for themselves this man who, by word and deed, caused all Israel to wonder.

5  And having received their authority from the king, they left the city of Tiberius by way of the sea, and they traveled throughout the cities of Decapolis and crossing Jordan into Judea they made inquiry concerning John.

6  Now there came from distant lands, Jews from Tyre and Sidon, from Damascus and Edessa, and from Alexandria and Pelusium seeking to hear for themselves the words of the Essene.

7  And many marveled concerning him, and unto whatever person who would take to their soul the words of the prophet, believing with all their heart the coming of the one promised, even they would be filled with dreams and visions, which thing troubled the rulers of the temple.

8  And they exclaimed aloud in their secret chambers, saying: “Is this thing not prophesied among us: ‘Behold, in that day I will pour out my spirit upon flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and in the night shall your young men see mighty visions.

9  And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in that day shall I pour forth all my Spirit, that unto many might be revealed the coming of my Anointed.’

10  What then shall we do with this man who by the power of his word has troubled the Jews of every nation? For except we act wisely, we shall lose our place, and none will have regard for us.”

11  Thus did the rulers of the land take thought concerning that prophet who proclaimed in the wilderness the coming of the Lord; from Caesarea to Tiberius by the sea, even unto Jerusalem did many conspire against the man night and day, hoping that by some means they might be rid of him.

12  Now in the month of Nisan there came out unto the river Jordan a company of scribes and Pharisees seeking John, and there was with them certain men of the Herodians, and one of them asked, saying: “If you are truly a prophet of God as these many believe, then tell us truly: By what sign shall we know the coming forth of the Anointed One?

13  For the scriptures say that even so great a one as he shall come to his temple. Tell us, therefore, by what means shall we know him, for many have come who would take to themselves the throne of David, who by their pretenses deceived many, which thing caused that all Israel should suffer.”

14  And John rising from his place spoke unto them, saying: “Would the sons of darkness follow the Father of light? Behold how stiff-necked and over-proud you are become; for you stand before the people as teachers of the law, yet in your private councils you break in pieces the word of God; that having received both the law and the prophets through the dispensation of angels, you are filled with all manner of corruption and deceit.

15  Come and answer truly, even before all these people, which of the prophets have your fathers not persecuted? For even those prophets who would show forth the coming of the Anointed One, even these have your fathers murdered.

16  Yet you say that you are Abraham’s seed, having received in your flesh the sign of the covenant. But in Abraham was faith magnified unto good works and he was called the friend of God, while yet you are strangers still, being disobedient and uncircumcised of heart.

17  Therefore, if you would receive to yourself the coming of the Anointed One, circumcise yourselves unto the Lord; let your hearts be circumcised you men of Judah; let the inhabitants of Jerusalem adorn themselves even as a bride, for the Lord shall come to the holy city; and there shall spring from his mouth fountains of deep wisdom and hidden things, and from his hand shall flow a multitude of blessing and healing.

18  Say not, O Zion: Behold, the Lord has forsaken me, even the Father has forgotten Israel, for we are left to despair continually; in sorrow and servitude are we all bowed down.

19  Can a mother forget the child at her breast, or have no compassion on the child of her womb? And even though she forget, yet will I remember you, saith the Lord.

20  For I have engraved you on the tablets of my heart; I have established you in the palms of my hands; for Israel have I made as the apple of my eye, and Zion as a seal upon my heart.

21  Gather you round about, O Israel, and to the words which I speak give heed. Let the busy hand cease its labor; let the nations be silent, for I bring you tidings of great joy, for there shall come unto you the very anointed of God.

22  Let the wicked forsake his ways and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and turn you again unto God for he is filled with mercy, and his hand is outstretched still, and whosoever shall turn again unto God, even that one shall find an abundance of pardon.

23  Therefore, you teachers of the law give heed, for your conspirings shall become as a snare about your feet, for in that day when the Anointed shall enter the courtyard of the temple, he shall come not to bless but to scourge.

24  Against you shall he make strong accusation before all the people; by his zeal shall he fan the flames of his indignation; he shall purge his house every whit. Surely he shall go forth to harvest and to gather, and the wheat shall he take unto himself, but even all the chaff shall he scatter upon the winds, being unprofitable and good for nothing.

25  And think not to yourselves, you sons of darkness, that in the temple you shall be made clean before the Lord at his coming; neither think you that God shall be pleased with that house which Herod built, for God has rejected even all his offering for Rachel’s sake.

26  For I tell you truly that David desired with all his heart to build a house unto the name of the Lord, but God forbid him, saying:

27  ‘Surely you shall not build a temple unto my name, for you are a man of war, having shed much blood upon the land in the sight of the Lord. For this cause shall I give unto you a son, and he shall be a man of peace, and I will give him rest from all his enemies.

28  He it is that will build a house unto the Lord, and he shall be my son, and I shall be unto him as a father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom in peace and plenty, and I shall send forth my glory that it might dwell upon that house which he shall build unto me.’

29  If God, therefore, would not that David should build for him a temple, having made red his hands by blood, how much more shall God reject that temple which Herod built, seeing that in his madness he murdered his wife and sons for the sake of his power?

30  For which of you have not heard for yourselves this saying among the house of Israel: It is better to be Herod’s hog than to be his son.

31  For Herod, in the midst of his power, did build a house made all beautiful on the outside, having adorned it with great riches, yet inwardly is it filled with hypocrisy and deceit; having spilled upon the altar the innocent blood of Zacharias.”

32  Now when the scribes and Pharisees heard these things, they were pricked to the heart, and the Herodians also did rage at the condemnation of the king before all the people; yet for all their anger they would not lay hold of John for all Israel thought him a prophet of God.

33  Now there came unto John certain of his disciples and one of them, being a Zealot, spoke, saying: “Rabboni, we know that you are sent by God unto the people, tell us, therefore, by what power shall the Anointed One throw off the power of Rome. For at his coming we would lift the sword against the oppressor, that we might establish again in Jerusalem the throne of David.”

34  And John, hearing this, was filled with compassion and he answered, saying: “Are you also without understanding? Would you secure the promises of God with the sword?

35  For there have come many who would claim themselves the very Promised One; yet for all their many strivings they were left desolate, and all Israel filled with bitter tears.

36  Of them was it written: The way of peace they do not know; in all their ways is mercy fled away. They have turned unto crooked paths all who follow after, and their way is multiplied in sorrow.

37  How long shall you suffer your sons to perish because you are without understanding? How long, O Israel, shall your mothers lament and your daughters weep aloud? For you are without understanding; you are left desolate because of God you have no knowledge.

38  Consider, therefore, how the Anointed One shall make himself known unto the children of men. For of him did the prophet speak, saying: ‘And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, even the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. And of the increase of his kingdom and glory there shall be no end.’

39  Thus shall the coming forth of the Righteous One be: for in him have love and mercy embraced together, and in his countenance are peace and righteousness become as one upon the earth.

40  Therefore, let your heart be filled with peace towards all men, and thus shall you add life unto the body. For whosoever shall sow in peace, shall harvest to their joy an abundance of righteousness. For this cause has God called us to live in peace, and to refrain our hand from war.

41  Mark well the goodly man. Behold always the paths of the righteous, for the end of all their ways is peace and joy. For God shall keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is stayed on him. These shall he bear safely over deep troubles; perplexities shall surely flee away, for in God have they placed all their trust.

42  Who shall move the godly from their place seeing that God himself has established all their ways? Keep your eye, therefore, upon the Holy One, and turn you neither to the left nor the right; then shall his peace enfold you round about, and with much assurance shall you dwell beside the Lord your God.

43  Therefore, if you would be a follower of the Anointed One, live in peace with all men, being filled continually with love and mercy, seeking ever the righteous way.

44  And give to no man evil for evil, insult for insult, injury for injury; but in blessing only lift high the hand of peace. By such means shall you secure to your soul the glory of God, and you shall become as the children of the Most High, and the Holy Spirit shall make rich her abode with you, to dress you round about with peace and holiness.

45  Of you shall the nations exclaim aloud, saying: ‘How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring forth glad tidings of good things, who proclaims unto the people the peaceful way of the Lord.’”

46  Thus spoke John unto those gathered round about, and in the night while yet he slept, he dreamed a dream filled with wonder. And when it was day again, he arose and did wash and anoint himself according to his custom, and putting on white garments he sat himself upon the ground and waited.

47  And for three days and nights John sat beside the river Jordan, and all his disciples marveled greatly. And one of them, taking a cruse of water, approached unto him and spoke, saying:

48  “Rabboni, why will you not come and teach the people, for they have waited for you these many days? And when we would send them again to their own place, they would not except that you should first bless them.

49  Come, good master, and arise; for all Israel is troubled because of you. Speak to us a word, and we shall be satisfied. Why have you tarried so?”

50  And John looking upon his disciples loved them, and turning his face northward, beyond Jordan, spoke unto all who drew near, saying: “Behold, O Israel, he comes.”

BOOK OF
YESHUA 2

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