Freethought Archives > G W Foote & J M Wheeler > The Jewish Life of Christ

CHAPTER II.

AND it came to pass that when Jeshu came to Nob [22:1], which is near Jerusalem, he said to them, Have ye here a good and comely ass?

2. And when they replied that one was at hand, he said, Bring him hither.

3. And a beautiful ass being brought, he mounted upon him and went to Jerusalem.

4. As he entered the city all the people sallied out to meet him.

5. And raising his voice he said to them, Concerning me the prophet Zacharias testified, saying, Behold thy king cometh to thee, just and having salvation, lowly and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass [22:2].

6. These things being known, there was great weeping and rending of garments, and devout men went and complained to the Queen.

7. (She was Queen Helena, the wife of King Janneus mentioned above; she reigned after the death of husband. She is otherwise called Oleina, and had a son Nunbasus, the kind, otherwise called Hyrcanus, who was slain by his subordinate Herod) [22:3].

8. The devout men said to the Queen, This fellow deserveth the worst punishment, for he is a seducer of the people. Prithee, grant us the power, and we will take him by subtlety.

9. The Queen answering, said, Call him hither that I may understand the accusation.

10. But she thought to save him from their hands, because she was related to him by blood.

11. Now the wise men perceiving her design, said to her, Do not, O royal mistress, undertake to do this lest thou shouldest become his abettor; for by his sorceries he leadeth men into error and crime.

12. At the same time they explained to her the whole matter of the Shem Hamphoras, and then added, It is for thee to impose punishment, for he deserveth the worst.

18. Then they narrated the history of Joseph Pandera.

14. Wherefore the Queen said, I have heard you and will consent to this: Bring him to me and let me hear what he saith, and see what he doeth; for everybody telleth me of the great miracles he performeth.

15. The wise men replied, We will do as thou sayest.

16. Therefore they sent for Jeshu, and placed him before the Queen.

17. Then thus the Queen spoke: I have heard that thou performest many wonderful miracles: now do one in my presence.

18. Jeshu replied, Whatever thou commandest, I will do. Meanwhile I pray this one thing: that thou wilt not give me into the hands of these wicked men who have pronounced me a bastard.

19. The Queen replied, Fear nothing.

20. Then Jeshu said, Bring hither a leper and I will heal him.

21. And when a leper was brought he laid his hand upon him, and invoking the Almighty name restored him to health, so that the flesh of his face became like that of a boy [23:4].

22. Furthermore Jeshu said, Bring hither a dead body.

23. And a dead body being brought, he straightway put his hand upon it, and pronounced the name, and it revived and stood upon its feet.

24. Then said Jeshu, Esaias [24:5] prophesied concerning me, Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, etc.

25. Then the Queen turning to the wise men said, How can ye affirm that this man is a sorcerer? Have I not seen him with mine own eyes performing miracles as if he were the Son of God?

26. But the wise men answering, said, Let not the Queen speak thus, for most certainly this man is a sorcerer.

27. But the Queen said, Get ye hence from my sight, and never again bring a like accusation before me [24:6].

28. Therefore the wise men left the presence of the Queen, sad at heart, and conferring one with another they said, Let us show ourselves crafty, so that this fellow may fall into our hands [24:7].

29. Moreover a certain one of them said, If it seemeth good to you, let one of us also learn the name, as he did, and perform the miracles, and perchance we may take him.

30. The wise men approved of this device, and said, Whoever shall learn the name and shall secure this fellow, to him shall be given a double reward in the world to come.

31. Forthwith a certain one of the wise men named Judas [24:8] arose and said, If ye will answer for the blame of the offence by which I shall speak the Almighty name, I will learn it.

32. And peradventure God in his mercy and great goodness will bless me, and bring into my hands this bastard and son of an adulteress.

33. Then all with one voice cried out, On us be the guilt [24:9]: do as thou hast proposed, and may thy work prosper.

34. Therefore he also went in to the Holy of Holies, and did the same that Jeshu had done.

35. Then going through the city he cried out, Where are they who report that this bastard is the Son of God? Am not I, who am only flesh and blood, able do the things which Jeshu hath done?

36. The Queen and her ministers having heard of this, Judas was brought before her, accompanied by the elders and wise men of Jerusalem.

37. But the Queen summoned Jeshu and said to him, Show us what thou hast lately done. And he began to perform his miracles before the people.

38. Then Judas spoke these words to the Queen and all the people: Nothing that this fellow doeth is wonderful to us. Let him nestle among the stars and I will hurl him down [25:1].

39. Then Jeshu thus addressed the whole people: Have ye not been from the beginning, from the time when I first knew you, a stiff-necked people [25:2]?

40. Judas answered, Is it not true that thou dost practise wickedness, thou bastard and son of an adulteress?

41. Did not our master Moses say concerning thee, If thy brother, the son of thy mother, entice thee, saying, Let us, etc., thou shalt bring the man out, and stone him with stones that he die [25:3], etc.?

42. But the bastard answering, said, Did not Esaias prophesy concerning me?

43. And are not these the words of my great forefather [David] concerning me: The Lord said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee? [25:4]

44. And in like manner in another place he said, The Lord said unto my lord, sit thou at my right hand [25:5].

45. And now I will ascend to my heavenly father and will sit at his right hand, and ye shall behold it with your eyes [25:6]. But thou, Judas, shall not attain to this.

46. And, now Jeshu uttered the Almighty name, and there came a wind and lifted him up between heaven and earth.

47. Forthwith Judas invoked the same name, and the wind also suspended him between heaven, and earth; and thus both soared round about through the air. [25:7]

48. At the sight of these things all were astonished. But Judas again recited the name, and seizing the wretch sought to hurl him down to the earth.

49. Then Jeshu also invoked the name for the purpose of bringing Judas down, and thus they wrestled together.

50. But Judas seeing that his strength was not equal to that of Jeshu, moistened him with the sweat of his body.

51. Wherefore being rendered impure, they were both deprived of the use of the Shem Hamphoras until they were washed. [26:8]

52. Then a death sentence was brought against Jeshu, and they said to him, If thou wouldst be free, do the things which thou hast been wont to do hitherto. [26:9]

53. But Jeshu, when he found himself unable to do them, raised his voice in lamentation saying,

54. David, my forefather, prophesied concerning me, saying, Yea, for thy sake we are killed all the day long, [26:1] etc.

55. When his disciples and the wicked crowd that adhered to him saw these things, being exposed to the danger of death, they fought with the elders and the wise men of Jerusalem, and enabled Jeshu to escape from the city. [26:2]

56. So Jeshu went speedily to Jordan; [26:3] and when he had washed and purified himself, he declared again the name and repeated his former miracles.

57. Moreover, he went and took two millstones, and made them float upon the water, and seating himself on them he caught fishes [26:4] before the multitude, which they then did eat.

58. When the report of this thing reached Jerusalem, all the wise and devout men began to weep, and to say,

59. Who will dare to risk death by going and taking away from this bastard the Almighty name? Lo, we pledge ourselves that he shall enjoy eternal happiness.

60. Then Judas offered himself to go; to whom the wise men said, Go in peace.

61. Therefore Judas went in disguise and mingled among the wicked fellows.

 


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