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Chapter 23 - The reading and explanation of Isaiah Chapter 9:5-6 by the Roman Judge.
1. Here the chief priest pushed the book towards Me and said: “There, read it for yourself and be convinced!”
2. I took the book and gave it to the judge, showing him the passages to be read out aloud, and asked him to kindly read them out aloud in order that no one should be able to say that I had read the texts in My own favor. The judge could do this all the more easily as he was very well versed in most of the Oriental tongues, and especially knew how to read the Old Hebrew writing a good deal better than all the temple officials together.
3. The judge gladly took the book and read as follows; “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given whose government is upon His shoulder; and His name is Wonderful, Counselor, Might, Champion, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace: so that His Dominion may be great and there may be no end to His Peace upon the throne of David, and in His Kingdom, and that He may judge with justice and righteousness from henceforth even for ever. Such will the zeal of Zebaoth accomplish”. Hereupon the judge asked the chief priest if the texts had been correctly read.
4. The chief priest answered in the affirmative with a deep bow.
5. Thereupon the judge continued to speak in My name, and said: “According to my opinion, you have looked up a passage which to my judgment just fits this young, lovely and wise boy, to a hair ’s breadth as scarcely any other would have done.
6. How a virgin should bring forth a Son whom she would call Emanuel, we have – at least to my subjective judgment – discussed so much that there is no more the least doubt in my mind that this very Boy, announced by the prophet, is indeed the Son of the virgin, who according to your own avowal, is well known to you, and is, I believe, called ‘Mary’.
7. And if I am not mistaken, I was told not very long ago, by a captain Cornelius about the miraculous birth of a boy at Bethlehem in an empty sheep stable – for want of better lodgings – and this even with a great enthusiasm and most tender sympathy with that memorable family, in their most awkward predicament. Also that he had often made inquiries, but had not been able to hear anything about them since their departure from Egypt! Unfortunately he had now to go to Tyre on, matters of state, or else he would most certainly have been sitting here!
8. Therefore as to the prophesied birth of this Boy, it is settled, and there can be absolutely no ‘contra’ (against) before the judgment seat, of a quite healthy and pure common sense!
9. Now as for the saying that He shall eat butter and honey in order afterwards to understand and choose the good and reject the evil, I can only imagine it, after the manner of Ancient Egypt, as a correspondence which, perhaps judged only according to my opinion means as much as to say: ‘He shall be filled with all Love and Wisdom, and shall faultlessly recognize true and pure goodness and definite evil’.
10. That He is capable of that, as no other learned and wise man in the world, He has given me the clearest proof just now before you all; and that He has surely, in Himself, the greatest amount of spiritual honey and spiritual butter, He has sufficiently shown to you wisest ones in the temple; and how you might learn very much from Him but certainly He nothing from you! Moreover this might also sufficiently show, how much butter and honey He must have partaken of up to now!
11. But the whole of this proves all the more clearly, that He really is the Emanuel foretold by the ancient Prophets, born of a virgin, and that henceforth no virgin upon earth, shall never again bring forth such a son.
12. I have never yet known in the whole vast Roman Empire, a son of twelve years of age, who resembled Him even in the very least – apart from His incomprehensible qualities of working miracles – and therefore I believe that the second text of the prophet shown by yourselves, fits Him to a hair ’s breadth, just as did the first one, He had already given in the very beginning as a so-called preliminary question.
13. Yes, there surely has been born to us mortal men a child of all children and a son out of the womb of the gods, as we Romans are accustomed to say, whose inconceivable dominion He Himself truly carries upon His Shoulders, without need of any helper.
14. Through the names mentioned, the prophet designates evidently those qualities which are His alone; tell me yourselves if there is even one that is wanting!
15. Is He not ‘wonderful’ in His intelligence, in His speech, and in His deeds?
16. What learned man upon earth can give me any wiser counsel than this true and purest son of the gods has given?
17. That He possesses a true omnipotence in every way, be it in regard to spirit or matter, surely it is to be hoped that no one who has heard Him talk, and seen Him act, will doubt that fact!
18. By His most audacious courage against you, well known as most haughty priests, who allow yourselves to be praised and adored far more than all the gods, He surely has shown clearly enough His audacious, heroic courage!
19. How His Spirit is necessarily eternal, one with the Spirit of God, He has proved before you, in so comprehensible a manner, and with such few words, that one must really have been struck with the darkness of all the nights that have been upon the earth if one did not feel from the first moment, whence this wind had begun to blow!
20. That He alone can give man the true inward Peace, and is therefore also the truest Prince of all Princes of the earth, who can also give Peace to man on this earth such as no other Prince can give, that I have already felt.
21. He alone can give a living restoration to David’s ancient kingdom of seership and intuitional knowledge which you destroyed long ago, and He alone can found a dominion to which all princes of the world shall for ever be subject, in spite of their scepters and crowns; for the reign of the clearest, intuitional knowledge is ever and remains, the most powerful upon earth, and can never be completely subjugated by any power! But where there is light and its all-penetrative effect, there is also a right judgment and the fullest and most open righteousness.
22. And at the end is also written: ‘And such shall the zeal of Zebaoth accomplish’! Who else but the Spirit of God filling this Boy through and through, is the Lord Zebaoth Himself, a thing I guessed at the first moment! How then did you not also, seeing that this evidently concerns you more than me who am a heathen?
23. O your gods and all your oracles of the whole world! How terribly blind, stupid, and wicked from your very heart, must you be, that you do not see, grasp, and feel at first sight, whence comes this wind that has begun to blow! I, a heathen, have to tell you that it is so!
24. What would that prophet, who wrote down such prophecies, say to your obstinacy which is of the very darkest, if he could come to life and stand before you?
25. Does really no shame at all seize you that you stand now so very stupidly before the eyes of Him whose will alone still grants you the foul, bad life of which you yourselves are guilty, and its dark rule? Could He not do with you the same as He did yesterday with the great stone, and when He produced the complete donkey?
26. There they are, sending out their thoughts into all the world as to what might be right, either before a God whom they do not know, and in whom they have not believed, or before a world on which they have fattened and think to become fatter still! And a most true God stands before them equipped with all the qualities which human fancy could ever form for itself, as an idea of a God, and this of course in the most sublime way!
27. Now I should like to yet get to know from you, you stupid old men, how you then picture a God to yourselves! You must have conceived some idea of Him! Speak! For I now command you to answer me!”
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