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Chapter 2 - The sensational intellectual Boy Jesus. The offering of old Simeon. The preliminary question. The speech of the younger scribe.
1. But such a real intellectual boy did not get discouraged by that, and said: “Every action in the great world of God is lighted up by the brightest sunlight in the daytime, and even the night is never so dark that one can see nothing; why must that important doctrine which is meant to show men the way to true salvation most clearly and most brightly, be given so confusedly that no soul can understand it?”
2. And the boy who had just raised this objection before the elders was I Myself, and thereby I made them greatly embarrassed, especially as all the people present began to agree with Me, and said: “By the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, this boy is extraordinarily clever; he must discuss more with the elders and scribes! We will put a considerable sum in the offertory on his behalf.”
3. A very rich Israelite from Bethany (the father of Lazarus, Martha and Mary, and still living then) stepped forward and paid down for Me an offering of thirty pounds of silver and some gold, only in order that I might discuss longer with the elders and scribes.
4. The elders and scribes naturally accepted only too gladly this large offering, and therewith I had a good chance of being allowed to enter into a quite exceptional discussion with the elders, and one which, for a good reason, had never taken place previously.
5. But now the first preliminary question and the one already mentioned, was out of Isaiah, the extremely mystically veiled answer to which now formed the basis for the following extended discussion which, will soon follow. Whosoever will read it with a good, loving, and pure heart will gain much from it for his soul and spirit.
6. But before we arrived at the wider discussion, and as I had the heavily paid freedom of speech, I returned to the preliminary question, and began to ask the elders and scribes about the special points of it.
7. But the preliminary question was taken from Isaiah Chapter 7:14,15,16, and the verses are: “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: See, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emanuel. Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child shall learn to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land which you abhor shall be forsaken of both her kings.”
8. The first part of the question consisted of what was in itself clearly understandable; who the virgin and who her son Emanuel might be, and when this would happen that such a son should be born into the world. The time must already be there, seeing that the land of Jacob had been already bereft of both her kings, and now had the heathen as masters. Could it not be possible that this boy born in a stable twelve years ago at Bethlehem, of the virgin Mary who had been given into the charge of the carpenter Joseph, not has his wife but as his foster child, according to the ancient custom of the temple – that this boy for whose sake the wise men of the East had come that they might greet in him the promised King of the Jews, and at whose circumcision in the temple Anna and Simeon had given so great witness – that this boy might be the Emanuel of whom Isaiah had prophesied.
9. Now, after this most significant question, one of the elders, a thoroughly imperious old man, began to babble most confused nonsense which I have no wish whatever to repeat, because, among other things, he called Me a badly educated boy, seeing that I already knew about the being born of woman.
10. Only one younger, somewhat more humane looking scribe rose up in protest, and said that such in no way indicated a bad education, as especially in Galilee, the boys matured earlier than in stunted Jerusalem, where there was nothing but luxury and great pampering of the children. On his own responsibility he considered that a better answer could be given Me, for he was of opinion that I was already acquainted with the conditions of human life. Only the other boys should be sent away, then they themselves could talk to Me as men.
11. But the elder muttered something in his beard, and I then questioned the more humane looking scribe concerning the story of the Birth in Bethlehem. But this one said, quite away from the point:
12. (The younger Scribe): “Yes, my dear good boy, that story which happily disappeared absolutely, was at the time much spoken about, and it is really of no use for us today in connection with the mysterious prophecy pictures of Isaiah who only foretold for his own time and in quite dark pictures. For the parents even fled – I think, and so I heard, after the well-known murder by Herod of the children at Bethlehem (on which occasion it is certain that their child whom the Eastern sages had greeted as King of the Jews, was slain) – outside of Judea somewhere, and are perhaps no more alive, since nothing more has been heard of their existence.
13. Of course there may have been something in the matter, for at the time it caused much sensation; but strangely enough, a few years later, everything sank into the sea of complete oblivion, so that no one now any longer breathes a syllable about it, and it is not worth while to say anything more about it. Simeon and Anna were two well-known enthusiasts of the temple who, in the case of many a boy, made their Messianic remarks in a mystical tone, and thereby considerably turned the heads of many weak parents.
14. When God gave the law to Moses on Sinai, nearly the whole earth trembled, and the history in the desert lasted nearly forty years, and almost the whole universe had to acknowledge the omnipotence of Jehovah. All the more will the Messiah, coming into this world, reveal Himself still more with a shaking of the whole universe, for David sang of Him: ‘Open wide the gates, and raise on high the portals of the Universe that the King of Glory may come in! Who is the King of Glory? He is the Lord Zebaoth. He is the King of Glory!
15. And you, my dear boy, will well understand that, in regard to the Messiahto- be, nothing will come of the birth at Bethlehem seeing that this is now forgotten. Just think how David announced Him, and what would have to be done beforehand if the Great King of Glory were to come out of the heavens to the Jews, and also consider that surely several years in advance, all the Jews shall be called by great prophets – like Elijah who, at the time, is to be herald of the Lord of Glory – to set going all that the great King David enjoined, in order to be well prepared for so immense an arrival of God, the All Highest!
16. Just think all this over, my good boy, and it will then be evident to you that it will be no such slight matter for the Lord Zebaoth to come into the world. Therefore go away now, and do not inquire further into such matters!”
17. It was then that I made the remark already mentioned, which caused the rich man of Bethany to pay for Me the heavy discussion-tax, in order to enable Me to make further rejoinders concerning My preliminary question, and to express Myself still further about the texts of Isaiah touching the Messiah; for he was one of the few who now expected the King of Glory according to Elijah, no longer in storm or fire, but in the soft murmuring of the wind.
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