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Main Page The Childhood of Jesus CYOU-50 Chapter

Chapter 50.– The interrogation of the governor by Cyrenius. The governor's plea to be excused. Cyrenius' question of conscience to Maronius and his confession and conviction.

50,1. After the address of Cyrenius, Maronius Pilla felt as if a huge stone was lifted from his chest; his pulse started to beat normal again, and he was soon able to talk to respond to Cyrenius.

50,2. When Cyrenius saw that Maronius Pilla had recovered, he asked him as follows:

50,3. "I tell you, give me the most conscientious answer to what I will ask you! Any excuse will incur my just displeasure! So listen to my question!

50,4. Tell me, do you know the family, whose firstborn Child is supposed to be the so-called new King of the Jews?"

50,5. Maronius Pilla replied: "Yes, I know them personally, according to the announcement of the Jewish priests in Jerusalem! – The father is called Joseph and is an excellent carpenter known all over Judea and half of Palestine and lives near Nazareth.

50,6. His honesty is known in the whole country and in all of Jerusalem. Eleven moons ago he had to take a matured girl out of the Jewish temple, by casting lots, I believe.

50,7. This girl had probably worshiped Venus a bit too early during the absence of this honest carpenter and became pregnant. After that this man had a lot of trouble with the Jewish priesthood.

50,8. To this extent this case is well known to me; but as for the delivery by the girl – whom this man had married just before, in order to escape the disgrace which he could expect from his compatriots – a lot of mystical tales have spread among the people, and the whole matter is still unclear!

50,9. People say she has delivered in a stable, during the registration in Bethlehem, that much I could find out.

50,10. Anything more than that is wholly unknown to me; and I communicated as such to Herod!

50,11. But he thought that Cornelius had wanted to take this family, of which the Persians had made him suspicious, and hide them among the people, in order to contest his feudal throne. For he knows very well, that your brother is not his friend!

50,12. That is why he resorted to this eccentric cruelty, to thwart Cornelius' plan rather than to get hold of this new king.

50,13. He carried out this infanticide more in revenge against your brother than from fear of this new king. That is all I can to tell you about this strange incident!"

50,14. Cyrenius spoke further: "Until now I could gather from your words that you have told me the truth, but at the same time, it has not escaped my attention that you also wanted to whitewash Herod before me!

50,15. But I tell you, as I have written, the deed of Herod can not be excused in any way!

50,16. For I will tell you why Herod has perpetrated these inhuman cruelties.

50,17. Listen! Herod himself is the most tyrannical man the earth has ever nurtured.

50,18. If he could, and only had the required power, he would do even today to us Romans, including Augustus, what he has done to those innocent children! – Do you understand me?

50,19. He has carried out this infanticide only because he was of the opinion that by doing us Romans a great and respectable favour and show himself as a true Roman patriot, the emperor would award him my office in addition;

50,20. he would thus have one third of the whole Roman might at his disposal and, being the representative of the emperor as I am, make himself free and totally independent from Rome, and become the sole sovereign of Asia and Egypt.

50,21. Do you understand me?! – That is this monster's plan, which I know well; and as I know him, so does Augustus now!

50,22. I ask you now, with your head as pledge for the truth which I expect from you, didn't you know anything about this plan of Herod as he had forced you to be his disgraceful tool?

50,23. Talk! But keep in mind that each untrue, evasive syllable will cost you your life! For in this matter I know each and every detail!"

50,24. Hereupon Maronius Pilla turned into a corpse again and stammered: "Yes, you are right, I also knew what Herod was up to.

50,25. I was afraid of his wicked spirit of intrigue and therefore had to do what he asked me to do, so that the basis for a still greater intrigue might be destroyed for him.

50,26. But I did not know him through and through as I know now through you; for if I had, he would not be alive anymore today!"

50,27. And Cyrenius spoke: "Well, in the name of the emperor I will spare your life, but I will not reappoint you to your office until your soul is healed from a strong illness! – You will be cared for here with me and your post will for now be seen to by my brother Cornelius; because I never trust you! Therefore you will stay here until you are sound and healthy again!"

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