|Chapter 3||Three Days in the Temple|
The question of the boy Jesus to the scribes: “Who is the ‘virgin’ and who is her ‘son’?” The good answer of the wise scribe.
1. When I thus had got permission to speak, I spoke at once to the elders and scribes who indicated to Me that I should talk, and ask now what ever I liked, and they would dutifully answer Me. I therefore again began with the question given on the previous day, and asked: “Your words put ever so assuringly cannot calm the sea, nor can they command silence to the roaring winds! It is only a blind man who does not remark the signs of the times; and if he is stone deaf, neither can be aware of the most powerful rolling thunder of history, even of this that is the most memorable time of the whole earth. Whereas Carmel and Sion bowed their heads at the Coming of the King of Glory, and the mountain tops of Horeb flowed with milk and honey, you who should be the first to know about it and should inform the waiting people thereof - you know not one syllable!”
2. Here all looked amazed, and looked first at Me and then at one another and knew not what to answer Me.
3. After a while one of them said: “Well, speak further of what you know about it!”
4. I said: “Certainly what I know, I know; but I did not put a question to you in order t enlighten Myself on what I already know, but only that you might show Me who is the prophet Isaiah’s ‘virgin with child’, of whom the very Son of the All-Highest is to be born! As scribes you ought surely to understand what the prophet meant by the ‘virgin with child’ who shall give birth to the Son designated!
5. It is quite My opinion that there is something more in that story of the Bethlehem birth than you think, and that those parents, the well known carpenter Joseph of Nazareth and the virgin afterwards married to him, together with the son born at Bethlehem, are still actually alive; for they escaped from the later cruelty of the old Herod, through a very wise arrangement of the then Roman captain Cornelius, and are now living quite safely in Nazareth of Galilee.
6. I, a Boy of twelve years old, know this, and should it to be unknown to you who know about everything, especially as Joseph, being one of the cleverest of carpenters, has so far had every year something to do for Jerusalem, and you know him quite well, as also his wife who belonged to Jerusalem, and was educated in the Temple up to fourteen years of age? Is she not a daughter of Anna and Joachim, and according to your chronicles, had she not a miraculous birth? Anna was already advanced in years, and without a miracle there would have been no idea of her having a child.
7. Well, these parents as well as the new-born boy, lived for about three years safely in Egypt immediately after the flight from Bethlehem, in the neighborhood of the little town of Ostracine, in the Old Egyptian language “Austrazhina” which means as much as to say: “A work of terror”, i.e. a fortress which brought death to all enemies a the time of the Pharaohs. Later the more powerful enemies of Ancient Egypt conquered this terror-inspiring place, as also many another, and in our times nothing is left of the former place and work of terror but the old decayed name, to which the Romans gave indeed another interpretation than that of the Old Egyptians.
8. However all this does not matter, I only mention these things which are well known to Me, in order to point out to you more clearly the place where the said parents dwelt for three years. From there they are said to have gone back, obeying a higher secret command, to Nazareth where they now live completely devoted to the Will of God, as much withdrawn as possible, although many stories are told of the wonderful acts of the boy whom I have the honour of knowing very well. For even the elements obey Him, and the wildest animals of the woods and deserts flee before His gaze, more awesome than that of a thousand hunters. For in this respect He is like a thousand Nimrods! In all earnestness, do you really know nothing about all this?! Tell Me quite honestly and truthfully - have you really seriously never heard about all this?”
9. Another elder, animated by a little better spirit, said: “Yes, of that we have indeed heard something, as also that the carpenter well known to us, and his young wife Mary sojourn continually in Nazareth! But as to whether the boy-prodigy is the same born twelve years ago in a stable, we do not know, and also doubt very much that he is the same! And how indeed should that boy be the Emanuel of the prophets?”
10. I said: “Good - but if it is not He, then whence has He the power that He exercises over all the elements? And who is the virgin, and who is the Emanuel?”
11. Said the rich man from Bethany: “Hearken, the intelligence of this boy is gigantic! It seems to my mind as if he were possibly a young Elijah, whom that boy-prodigy from Nazareth has sent before him in order to prepare us all for the existing Emanuel of the prophet! For when have any of us ever known a boy of twelve - with the exception of Samuel - talk with such wisdom?
12. Therefore you must begin a more concise and dignified kind of speech with this boy, else we shall not get rid of him! You will have to begin to explain to him the prophets in a clear way, and yet examine how things go with the virgin Mary - the marvellous daughter of Joachim and Anna, who at the end bequeathed their considerable properties to the Temple when they died - or rather the Temple-authorities took them by force as unbequeathed property, and as compensation for the bringing up of the daughter Mary.
13. What do you really and truly think about that virgin? If the word of the prophet is to be taken, then the exact time mentioned by him is already here, and the marvel about the virgin spoken of, can no longer be denied! If after all there is anything in it, then it would really be outrageous on our part if we did not get deeper and more exact information about it.”
14. The angry elder: “You do not understand, and you only talk in support of this boy, as a completely blind man would speak of the beauty of fine colors!”
15. I, interrupting: “But surely that’s a strange thing if a hungry man imagines that every other person he meets is hungry too! A stupid man always believes other people to be more stupid than himself. To the blind man every other person is blind, be he ever so keen-sighted, and to the deaf every other man is deaf!
16. Do you believe, you surly old man, that no one knows anything except yourself? Oh, there you are much mistaken! Behold, I am only a Boy, and could tell you things that are perfectly true and right, of which your morose wisdom has surely never dreamed!
17. Why should My rich Simon of Bethany who has travelled in India, Persia, Arabia, Egypt, Spain, Rome, Athens, not know something also of which you have never dreamed? If it be thus, with what right can you accuse him of ignorance? But I declare to you that his judgment is quite correct, and therefore, because of his large sum of money, you ought to do what he demands of you.
18. If anyone hires a servant for work, the servant has to do that for which the master has hired him. If the servant is not willing or not able, surely the master will have the right to demand back the wages agreed upon from the lazy and unskilled servant! You allowed yourselves to be well-paid, and either will not or cannot do anything for it! Has Simon not the right to ask now that you return him the money?”
19. A Roman judge and commissioner, expert in all the laws, being present said: “Just look at that boy! He is indeed a perfect lawyer, and could at once be a judge in all debatable matters! His judicial statement is perfectly founded in our laws, and if Simon of Bethany appeals to me, I can only give him the ‘Exequatur!’ (it shall be done)!”
20. After that he came to Me, caressed and embraced Me and said to Me: “Listen, you, my lovely curly-headed boy: I am quite in love with you! I would gladly provide for you with all my property and educate you to something great!”
21. I said: “I know very well that you love Me, for in your breast beats a faithful and loyal heart; you too may be sure that I love you very much. But you need not trouble about My prosperity, for there is already One Who looks after that!”
22. But also Simon of Bethany came forward to My side and asked Me greatly surprised: “Tell me, my most beautiful, dearest and loveliest boy, how did you know what I am called and that I have travelled all over?”
23. I said: “Oh don’t be surprised at that! Because if I wish to know anything at all, My nature is already such that I know it! The ‘how’ you would hardly understand as yet! But now again to the matter and to our ‘virgin’! Will you priests and scribes illuminate this more clearly or not?”
24. Said one of the more intelligent of the considerable number of elders: “Yes, yes, we cannot possibly do otherwise than pour out a draught of pure wine for the boy, and so explain to him his Isaiah as it is correspondingly taught in the Kabbala; he will then have no more excuse for any further questions!”
25. After that an extremely learned scribe came forward and said: “Well, you most inquisitive youth, collect your wits then, and listen and understand: By the ‘virgin’ the prophet did not mean a virgin of flesh and blood, but only the doctrine which God gave through Moses to the children of this world. In the most exact sense, we Priests are a living representation of this teaching and law.
26. But we, being the living Word of God, are now full of sincere hope that this doctrine shall, through us, be carried forth into the whole world and shall refresh the heathen. And this living, true hope is the pregnancy of the virgin, meant by the prophets the ‘Son’ however to whom she will give birth, are indeed all the heathen’s who will accept our doctrine and these will then say, and also be named, ‘Emanuel’ i.e. ‘God is also with us!’ And such was already done before us, and happens now all the more eagerly and vitally.
27. But this son shall eat honey and milk and reject the evil and choose the good. By ‘honey’ the prophet understood pure Love and true Goodness, and by the word ‘milk’ he understood the Wisdom of God, which is imparted to man through the observance of the doctrine and the law; and if one had vitally made God’s Wisdom and Love one’s own, then does one freely detest all evil, and wills and chooses the good.
28. Behold, my dear boy, such is the relation of the Innermost Wisdom and Truth to the spiritual words, sayings and utterances of the prophets! All of them have only an inner, spiritual meaning which however is only discovered by the true scribe from material symbols and pictures, through the faithful and true teachings of correspondences. A layman cannot do that, and if he could, all high schools would be quite superfluous, and Moses would have no need to nominate special priests and learned men for the administration of the doctrine and the precepts of God! Do you now understand this - the only true and correct interpretation of your prophet whom so far you have not understood?”
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