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Chapter 11. – The high priest's doubt concerning Mary's condition. The interrogation of Mary and Joseph in the temple. Joseph's lament and quarrel with God. The death sentence of Joseph and Mary and their defence through a decree of God. Mary becomes Joseph's wife.
11,1. However, the high priest reflected for a while and then said to himself: "What shall I do? Since the choice was made for the virgin, Annas has become very jealous and one should never listen to the advice of a jealous man.
11,2. If however Mary's condition is confirmed and I would have acted indifferently in this situation, what would the sons of Israel say and in what way would they hold me accountable?
11,3. I want to send the servants to Joseph secretly, so that if this horrible situation should be confirmed, they shall immediately bring the virgin here together with Joseph!"
11,4. Thus it was decided and settled. The high priest secretly called trusted servants and informed them of what had taken place in Joseph's house, and then sent them to Joseph with instructions about what they were to do if the situation should be confirmed.
11,5. In a great hurry, the servants went to Joseph and discovered the situation just as the high priest had told them.
11,6. The oldest of them said to Joseph: "Look, we were sent here from the temple, to ascertain to for ourselves the condition of the virgin, since malicious rumours about her have come to the ears of the high priest.
11,7. Unfortunately we have found these sad speculations confirmed; therefore do not let this turn violent, and follow us, together with Mary, to the temple, where you shall hear the just decision from the mouth of the high priest!"
11,8. And, without any argument, Joseph followed the servants with Mary to the court in the temple.
11,9. As he appeared before the high priest, the astonished high priest asked Mary in a serious tone:
11,10. "Mary! Why did you do this to us and why did you degrade your own soul so profoundly ?
11,11. You have forgotten the Lord, your God, – you, who were brought up in the sanctum and who received your daily bread out of the hand of angels,
11,12. and who has constantly heard his songs of praise, and who has amused yourself, and has played and danced in front of God's face! – Speak, why did you do this to us?"
11,13. But Mary had to weep bitterly and, beneath bitter sobbing and weeping, spoke: "As truly as God, the Lord of Israel, exists, as truly am I pure and have never known a man! – Ask Joseph, the one chosen by God!"
11,14. And then the high priest turned to Joseph and asked him: "Joseph, I beseech you in the name of the eternal living God, tell me openly, how did this happen? Did you do such a thing?"
11,15. And Joseph said: "I tell you by all that is for you and I holy, as truly as the Lord, my God, lives, as truly I am untainted in front of this virgin, as in front of you and in front of God!"
11,16. And the high priest replied: "Do not bear false witness, but speak the truth in front of God! – And I tell you: You took your wedding into your own hands, you did not inform the temple and you did not first bow your head beneath the hand of the everlasting Almighty, so He might have blessed your seed! – Therefore, tell us the truth!"
11,17. Joseph fell silent upon hearing such words from the high priest and was unwilling to reply at all; for he was so bitterly and unjustly accused by the high priest.
11,18. Since Joseph stood in deep silence before the high priest, not wanting to utter a word, the high priest opened his mouth again and said:
11,19. "Return the virgin to us again, as you have received her from the temple of the Lord, when she was as pure as a rising sun on a bright morning!"
11,20. Dissolving into tears Joseph stood there and said after an enormous sigh:
11,21. "Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, what did I a poor old man do so badly in your eyes, that you now punish me so strongly?!
11,22. Take me from the world; as it is too hard to suffer such a disgrace as a just man in front of You and the whole world!
11,23. You punished my father David, when he had sinned at Urias.
11,24. I however, have never sinned against anyone and have laid hands neither on a human being nor an animal, and I have always respected the law impeccably. O Lord, why do you punish me now?
11,25. O show me that I have sinned in your eyes and I will happily suffer punishment by fire! – But if I have sinned in your eyes, then the day and the hour in which I was born shall be cursed!"
11,26. The high priest became embittered about Joseph's speech and spoke his mind in great agitation:
11,27. "Fine then, since you dispute your great sin in front of God, I will let you both drink of the accursed water of God the Lord; then your sin will be revealed before your eyes and the eyes of all people!" –
11,28. Immediately, the high priest took the accursed water, and let Joseph drink of it, and then sent him, according to the law, into the mountains near Jerusalem.
11,29. Likewise, he also gave such water to the virgin and sent her into the mountains as well.
11,30. However after three days they both returned absolutely unharmed, and all the people were surprised that no sin was revealed upon them.
11,31. The high priest, exceedingly astonished, then said to them; "Well, since the Lord our God did not want to reveal your sin, I also do not want to judge you, but instead declare you as innocent and unmarried.
11,32. However as the virgin is already pregnant, she shall become your wife as a penance, since she became pregnant unbeknownst to me, and she should never be given another husband, even when she would become a young widow! So be it! – And now leave in peace from here."
11,33. Now, Joseph took Mary and went with her to his home and was full of joy and praised his Lord. His joy was even greater now that Mary had become his rightful wife.
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