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Main Page Three days in the Temple of Jerusalem 3DAYS-24 Chapter

Chapter 24 - Joram’s speech about the being of God as an answer to the Roman Judge.

1. This sharp address by the judge completely disconcerted our temple officials, and frightened them so much that they were only able to stammer incoherently. The most composed was Joram: he therefore got up from his seat, bowed deeply to the judge and then said:

2. (Joram:) “High, severe, and most just judge and ruler of the whole of Jerusalem and very far beyond it! The real conception of the Being of God is a different thing with us, because it is strictly forbidden by Moses to form of Him any comprehensible idea, or indeed any only half correct pictorial one! Therefore you will find no image at all in our temple by which a perceptible idea of Divinity could be made for human external senses.

3. Nevertheless the Fathers – such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – had yet several times, visions in which they saw God, only in a perfect human shape like ours, and spoke (with Him) although Moses said later: ‘No one can see God and at the same time live: for God is a consuming Fire and lives n the Inaccessible Light!

4. However once all the same, Moses desired to see God, even if that should bring about immediate death. But God said to Moses on Mount Sinai: ‘Hide thyself in this cave; I will pass by it! When I shall call you, come forth out of the cave and you shall see My back parts!’

5. Yes, where it is at one time a question, of a Form of God, and then at another time, in a strictly lawful sense, of none at all, and as an actual fact, seeing that for fear of punishment, there may be no question of any one conceiving an idea, or of formulating a concept of a God, truly it becomes somewhat difficult or indeed no longer possible; although, as time goes on, the human mind longs for a God with form, (and strictly speaking, one cannot lay much blame on the heathen for representing their Zeus under the figure of a most perfect Man). We have only the word ‘Jehovah’, and beyond that there is not much more.

6. As for me merely as a man, this Boy is for me as for you, quite good and powerful enough to be a God. But think now of the people who cling to the doctrine of Moses and the prophets! The temple is the ancient centre of their bliss, thither they bear all their wishes and hopes, and believe themselves close to their God in the temple, where He listens to them through the ears of the High priest, and hears them through the prayers of the latter and his assistants. Take this away, suddenly, from the people and put his divine Boy in the place of the Ark of the Covenant, and quickly there will be a general revolution in the whole land.

7. We are fools because we are obliged to be it; if this were not the case, and if our life and the welfare and quietness of the people were not to depend on it, we should long since have ceased to be fools! Or do you think that it is so very easy to represent to the people something as existing which does not exist, and of which one can form no concept at all, even with the best of will?

8. I myself think of the Boy the same as you do: but, before the people, I must nevertheless continue the old foolery, and by no means all on the smallest trace to be seen, that inwardly I have another faith than that which I display outwardly.

9. Should the Boy succeed in time to draw the attention of the people to Himself, as He has now done with us, and that they acknowledge Him as all that, and accept what He is, then He will have an easy time with the whole temple. But an old matter where so many interests cross, is not easily pushed aside like an old chest with can easily, and without hesitation, be thrown away destroyed, and be replaced by a new one.

10. That is my opinion, with which the whole temple surely agrees with me, and I hardly think that any one will contradict me.”

11. The judge said: “Yes, against this opinion there is at present, of course little, or at least not much, to be objected; but one thing may be remarked all the same, which is: If you believe in the mission of the Boy, you might still draw the attention of the people to Him in a suitable way, and show what has now come into the world.”

12. Joram said: “This claim evidently belongs to those which one can call reasonable, and something of that kind may perhaps be done! But all the same it will be a daring undertaking which might cause much embarrassment both to us and to the good Boy!

13. For firstly, the Boy will surely not remain in the temple, because perhaps today, or tomorrow, He will certainly be taken back by His parents to Nazareth which is a little too far away from here, for all those to be sent thither who would wish to ask about Him.

14. Also secondly, hundreds of thousands would begin to ask us about Him quite seriously, as to the reason why He, being the One announced by the prophets, should not have His dwelling in the house which alone is suitable for Him, and which is the temple.

15. And what reason could we give the people as to why He preferred Nazareth to the City of God? Soon the people would say: ‘City and temple must have done some great wrong, the matter must be gone into and atonement made!’

16. In short we could now do whatever we liked, but, all the same, we should in one way or another awaken great excitement among the people, which would give us very great trouble; therefore in this case I think it would be ever so much better and more advisable, to make no mention of it at all to the people, but leave the matter entirely to the Boy and to time.

17. Whatever may happen, we at least shall be prepared for it by what has taken place in these three days, and shall be able to prepare ourselves still better and deeper! The Boy may now speak Himself, and decide what He wants to be done; for it will be difficult to oppose His will.”

Main Page Three days in the Temple of Jerusalem 3DAYS-24 Chapter