THE ACTS OF TA’OM
The First Act: When he went into India with Abbanes the merchant.
At that season all we the apostles were at Yerushalayim, Shim’on which is called Kepha and Andrei his brother, Ya’aqov the son of Zebedee and Yochanon his brother, Philip and Bar Talmai, Ta’om and Mattithyahu the publican, Ya’aqov the son of Alphaeus and Shim’on the Kana’aniy, and Yahudah the brother of Ya’aqov: and we divided the regions of the world, that every one of us should go unto the region that fell to him and unto the nation whereunto Adonai sent him.
According to the lot, therefore, India fell unto Yahudah Ta’om, which is also the twin: but he would not go, saying that by reason of the weakness of the flesh he could not travel, and ‘I am a Hebrew man; how can I go amongst the Indians and preach the truth?’ And as he thus reasoned and spoke, the Savior appeared unto him by night and said to him: Fear not, Ta’om, go you unto India and preach the word there, for my grace is with thee. But he would not obey, saying: Whither you would send me, send me, but elsewhere, for unto the Indians I will not go.
2 And while he thus spoke and thought, it chanced that there was there a certain merchant come from India whose name was Abbanes, sent from the King Gundaphorus, and having commandment from him to buy a carpenter and bring him unto him.
[Gundaphorus is a historical personage who reigned over a part of India in the first century after Mashiach. His coins bear his name in Greek, as Hyndopheres]
Now Adonai seeing him walking in the marketplace at noon said unto him: Would you buy a carpenter? And he said to him: Yea. And Adonai said to him: I have a slave that is a carpenter and I desire to sell him. And so, saying, he showed him Ta’om afar off, and agreed with him for three litrae of silver unstamped, and wrote a deed of sale, saying: I, Yahusha, the son of Yoceph the carpenter, acknowledge that I have sold my slave, Yahudah by name, unto thee Abbanes, a merchant of Gundaphorus, king of the Indians. And when the deed was finished, the Savior took Yahudah Ta’om and led him away to Abbanes the merchant, and when Abbanes saw him, he said unto him: Is this your master? And the apostle said: Yea, he is my Adonai. And he said: I have bought you of him. And the apostle held his peace.
3 And on the day following the apostle arose early and having prayed and besought Adonai he said: I will go whither you will, Adonai Yahusha: your will be done. And he departed unto Abbanes the merchant, taking with him nothing at all save only his price. For Adonai had given it unto him, saying: Let your price also be with thee, together with my grace, wheresoever you go.
And the apostle found Abbanes carrying his baggage on board the ship; so, he also began to carry it aboard with him. And when they were embarked in the ship and were set down Abbanes questioned the apostle, saying: What craftsmanship Know you? And he said: In wood I can make ploughs and yokes and augers (ox-goads, Syr.), and boats and oars for boats and masts and pulleys; and in stone, pillars and temples and courthouses for kings. And Abbanes the merchant said to him: Yea, it is of such a workman that we have need. They began then to sail homeward; and they had a favorable wind, and sailed prosperously till they reached Andrapolis, a royal city.
4 And they left the ship and entered into the city, and lo, there were noises of flutes and water-organs, and trumpets sounded about them; and the apostle inquired, saying: What is this festival that is in this city? And they that were there said to him: Thee also have the elohiym brought to make merry in this city. For the king has an only daughter, and now he gives her in marriage unto a husband: this rejoicing, therefore, and assembly of the wedding today is the festival which you have seen. And the king has sent heralds to proclaim everywhere that all should come to the marriage, rich and poor, bond and free, strangers and citizens: and if any refuse and come not to the marriage he shall answer for it unto the king. And Abbanes hearing that, said to the apostle: Let us also go, lest we offend the king, especially seeing we are strangers. And he said: Let us go.
And after they had put up in the inn and rested a little space they went to the marriage; and the apostle seeing them all set down, laid himself, he also, in the midst, and all looked upon him, as upon a stranger and one come from a foreign land: but Abbanes the merchant, being his master, laid himself in another place.
5 And as they dined and drank, the apostle tasted nothing; so, they that were about him said unto him: Wherefore are you come here, neither eating nor drinking? but he answered them, saying: I am come here for somewhat greater than the food or the drink, and that I may fulfil the king’s will. For the heralds proclaim the king’s message, and whoso hearkens not to the heralds shall be subject to the king’s judgement.
So when they had dined and drunken, and garlands and unguents were brought to them, every man took of the unguent, and one anointed his face and another his beard and another other parts of his body; but the apostle anointed the top of his head and smeared a little upon his nostrils, and dropped it into his ears and touched his teeth with it, and carefully anointed the parts about his heart: and the wreath that was brought to him, woven of myrtle and other flowers, he took, and set it on his head, and took a branch of calamus and held it in his hand.
Now the flute-girl, holding her flute in her hand, went about to them all and played, but when she came to the place where the apostle was, she stood over him and played at his head for a long space: now this flute-girl was by race a Hebrew.
6 And as the apostle continued looking on the ground, one of the cup-bearers stretched forth his hand and gave him a buffet; and the apostle lifted up his eyes and looked upon him that smote him and said: My Elohiym will forgive thee in the life to come this iniquity, but in this world you will show forth his wonders and even now shall I behold this hand that has smitten me dragged by dogs. And having so said, he began to sing and to say this song:
The damsel is the daughter of light, in whom consists of and dwells the proud brightness of kings, and the sight of her is delightful, she shines with beauty and cheer. Her garments are like the flowers of spring, and from them a waft of fragrance is borne; and in the crown of her head the king is established which with his immortal food (ambrosia) nourishes them that are founded upon him; and in her head is set truth, and with her feet she shows forth joy. And her mouth is opened, and it becomes her well: thirty and two are they that sing praises to her. Her tongue is like the curtain of the door, which waves to and fro for them that enter in: her neck is set in the fashion of steps which the first maker has wrought, and her two hands signify and show, proclaiming the dance of the happy ages, and her fingers point out the gates of the city. Her chamber is bright with light and breathes forth the odor of balsam and all spices and gives out a sweet smell of myrrh and Indian leaf, and within are myrtles strown on the floor, and garlands of all manner of odorous flowers, and the doorposts are adorned with freed.
7 And surrounding her, her groomsmen keep her, the number of whom is seven, whom she herself has chosen. And her bridesmaids are seven, and they dance before her. And twelve in number are they that serve before her and are subject unto her, which have their aim and their look toward the bridegroom, that by the sight of him they may be enlightened; and forever shall they be with her in that eternal joy, and shall be at that marriage whereto the princes are gathered together and shall attend at that banquet whereof the eternal ones are accounted worthy, and shall put on royal raiment and be clad in bright robes; and in joy and exultation shall they both be and shall glorify the Father of all, whose proud light they have received, and are enlightened by the sight of their Adonai; whose immortal food they have received, that has no failing (excrement, Syr.), and have drunk of the wine that gives them neither thirst nor desire. And they have glorified and praised with the living ruach, the Father of truth and the mother of wisdom.
8 And when he had sung and ended this song, all that were there present gazed upon him; and he kept silence, and they saw that his likeness was changed, but that which was spoken by him they understood not, forasmuch as he was a Hebrew and that which he spoke was said in the Hebrew tongue. But the flute-girl alone heard all of it, for she was by race a Hebrew and she went away from him and played to the rest, but for the most part she gazed and looked upon him, for she loved him well, as a man of her own nation; moreover, he was comely to look upon beyond all that were there. And when the flute-girl had played to all and ended, she sat down over against him, gazing and looking earnestly upon him. But he looked upon no man at all, neither took heed of any but only kept his eyes looking toward the ground, waiting the time when he might depart thence.
But the cup bearer that had buffeted him went down to the well to draw water; and there chanced to be a lion there, and it slew him and left him lying in that place, having torn his limbs in pieces, and forthwith dogs seized his members, and among them one black dog holding his right hand in his mouth bare it into the place of the banquet.
9 And all when they saw it were amazed and inquired which of them it was that was missing. And when it became manifest that it was the hand of the cup-bearer which had smitten the apostle, the flute-girl broke her flute and cast it away and went and sat down at the apostle’s feet, saying: This is either an elohiym or an apostle of Elohiym, for I heard him say in the Hebrew tongue: ‘ I shall now see the hand that has smitten me dragged by dogs’, which thing you also have now beheld; for as he said, so has it come about. And some believed her, and some not.
But when the king heard of it, he came and said to the apostle: Rise up and come with me and pray for my daughter: for she is my only begotten, and to-day I give her in marriage. But the apostle was not willing to go with him, for Adonai was not yet revealed unto him in that place. But the king led him away against his will unto the bride-chamber that he might pray for them.
10 And the apostle stood, and began to pray and to speak thus: My Adonai and My Elohiym, that travels with your servants, that guides and corrects them that believe in thee, the refuge and rest of the oppressed, the hope of the poor and ransomer of captives, the physician of the nephesh that lie sick and Savior of all creation, that gives life unto the world and strengthens nephesh; you knows things to come, and by our means accomplishes them: you Adonai are he that reveals hidden mysteries and makes manifest words that are secret: you Adonai are the planter of the good tree, and of your hands are all good works engendered: you Adonai are he that are in all things and passes through all, and are set in all your works and manifested in the working of them all. Yahusha HaMashiach, Son of compassion and perfect Savior, Mashiach, Son of the living Elohiym, the undaunted power that have overthrown the enemy, and the voice that was heard of the rulers, and made all their powers to quake, the ambassador that was sent from the height and came down even unto She’ol, who did open the doors and bring up thence them that for many ages were shut up in the treasury of darkness, and showed them the way that leadeth up unto the height: l beseech thee, Adonai Yahusha, and offer unto thee supplication for these young persons, that you would do for them the things that shall help them and be expedient and profitable for them. And he laid his hands on them and said: Adonai shall be with you and left them in that place and departed.
11 And the king desired the groomsmen to depart out of the bride-chamber; and when all were gone out and the doors were shut, the bridegroom lifted up the curtain of the bride-chamber to fetch the bride unto him. And he saw Adonai Yahusha bearing the likeness of Yahudah Ta’om and speaking with the bride; even of him that but now had blessed them and gone out from them, the apostle; and he said unto him: Went you not out in the sight of all? how then is it that you are found here? But Adonai said to him: I am not Yahudah which is also called Ta’om, but I am his brother. And Adonai sat down upon the bed and bade them also sit upon chairs, and began to say unto them:
12 Remember, my children, what my brother spoke unto you and what he delivered before you: and know this, that if you abstain from this foul intercourse, you become holy temples, pure, being quit of impulses and pains, seen and unseen, and you will acquire no cares of life or of children, whose end is destruction: and if indeed you get many children, for their sakes you become grasping and covetous, stripping orphans and overreaching widows, and by so doing subject yourselves to grievous punishments. For the more part of children become useless oppressed of devils, some openly and some invisibly, for they become either lunatic or half withered or blind or deaf or dumb or paralytic or foolish; and if they be sound, again they will be vain, doing useless or abominable acts, for they will be caught either in adultery or murder or theft or fornication, and by all these will you be afflicted.
But if you be persuaded and keep your nephesh chastened before Elohiym, there will come unto you living children whom these blemishes touch not, and you shall be without care, leading a tranquil life without grief or anxiety, looking to receive that incorruptible and true marriage, and you shall be therein groomsmen entering into that bride-chamber which is full of immortality and light.
13 And when the young people heard these things, they believed Adonai and gave themselves up unto him, and abstained from foul desire and continued so, passing the night in that place. And Adonai departed from before them, saying thus: The grace of Adonai shall be with you.
And when the morning arrived the king came to meet them and furnished a table and brought it in before the bridegroom and the bride. And he found them sitting over against each other and the face of the bride he found unveiled, and the bridegroom was right joyful.
And the mother came unto the bride and said: Why sit you so, child, and are not ashamed, but are as if you had lived with your husband a long season? And her father said: Because of your great love toward your husband do you not even veil yourself?
14 And the bride answered and said: Verily, father, I am in great love, and I pray my Adonai that the love which I have perceived this night may abide with me, and I will ask for that husband of whom I have learned to-day: and therefore I will no more veil myself, because the veil of shame is removed from me; and therefore am I no more ashamed or abashed, because the deed of shame and confusion is departed far from me; and that I am not confounded, it is because my astonishment has not continued with me; and that I am in cheerfulness and joy, it is because the day of my joy has not been troubled; and that I have set at nought this husband and this marriage that passes away from before my eyes, it is because I am joined in another marriage; and that I have had no intercourse with a husband that is temporal, whereof the end is with lasciviousness and bitterness of nephesh, it is because I am yoked unto a true husband.
15 And while the bride was saying yet more than this, the bridegroom answered and said: I give thee thanks, O Adonai, that have been proclaimed by the stranger, and found in us; who have removed me far from corruption and sown life in me; who have rid me of this disease that is hard to be healed and cured and abides forever, and have implanted sober health in me; who have shown me yourself and revealed unto me all my state wherein I am; who has redeemed me from falling and led me to that which is better, and set me free from temporal things and made me worthy of those that are immortal and everlasting; that have made yourself lowly even down to me and my littleness, that you may present me unto your greatness and unite me unto yourself; who have not withheld your own bowels from me that was ready to perish, but have shown me how to seek myself and know who I was, and who and in what manner I now am, that I may again become that which I was: whom I knew not, but yourself did seek me out: of whom I was not aware, but yourself have taken me to thee: whom I have perceived, and now am not able to be unmindful of him: whose love burns within me, and I cannot speak it as is fit, but that which I am able to say of it is little and scanty, and not fitly proportioned unto his glory: yet he blames me not that presume to say unto him even that which I know not: for it is because of his love that I say even this much.
16 Now when the king heard these things from the bridegroom and the bride, he rent his clothes and said unto them that stood by him: Go forth quickly and go about the whole city, and take and bring me that man that is a sorcerer who by ill fortune came unto this city; for with my own hands I brought him into this house, and I told him to pray over this my ill-starred daughter; and whoever finds and brings him to me, I will give him whatsoever he asks of me. They went, therefore, and went about seeking him, and found him not; for he had set sail. They also went unto the inn where he had lodged and found there the flute-girl weeping and afflicted because he had not taken her with him. And when they told her the matter that had befallen the young people she was exceedingly glad at hearing it, and put away her grief and said: Now have I also found rest here. And she rose up and went unto them, and was with them a long time, until they had instructed the king also. And many of the brethren also gathered there until they heard the report of the apostle, that he was come unto the cities of India and was teaching there: and they departed and joined themselves unto him.
The Second Act: Concerning his coming unto the king Gundaphorus.
17 Now when the apostle was come into the cities of India with Abbanes the merchant, Abbanes went to salute the king Gundaphorus, and reported to him of the carpenter whom he had brought with him. And the king was glad and commanded him to come into him. So, when he came in the king said unto him: What craft do you understand? The apostle said unto him: The craft of carpentering and of building. The king said unto him: What craftsmanship, then, do you know in wood, and what in stone? The apostle said: In wood: ploughs, yokes, goads, pulleys, and boats and oars and masts; and in stone: pillars, temples, and couryouses for kings. And the king said: Can you build me a palace? And he answered: Yea, I can both build and furnish it; for to this end am I come, to build and to do the work of a carpenter.
18 And the king took him and went out of the city gates and began to speak with him on the way concerning the building of the couryouse, and of the foundations, how they should be laid, until they came to the place wherein he desired that the building should be; and he said: Here will I that the building should be. And the apostle said: Yea, for this place is suitable for the building. But the place was woody and there was much water there. So, the king said: Begin to build. But he said: I cannot begin to build now at this season. And the king said: When can you begin? And he said: I will begin in the month Dius and finish in Xanthicus. But the king marveled and said: Every building is built in summer, and can you in this very winter build and make ready a palace? And the apostle said: Thus, it must be, and not otherwise is it possible. And the king said: If then, this seems good to you, draw me a plan, how the work shall be, because I shall return hither after some long time.
And the apostle took a reed and drew, measuring the place; and the doors he set toward the sunrising to look toward the light, and the windows toward the west to the breezes, and the bakehouse he appointed to be toward the south and the aqueduct for the service toward the north. And the king saw it and said to the apostle: Verily you are a craftsman, and it belittles you to be a servant of kings. And he left much money with him and departed from him.
19 And from time to time he sent money and provision, and victual for him and the rest of the workmen. But Ta’om receiving it all dispensed it, going about the cities and the villages round about, distributing and giving alms to the poor and afflicted, and relieving them, saying: The king knows how to obtain recompense fit for kings, but at this time it is needful that the poor should have refreshment.
After these things the king sent an ambassador unto the apostle and wrote thus: Signify unto me what you have done or what I shall send unto thee, or of what you have need. And the apostle sent unto him, saying: The palace is built and only the roof remains. And the king, hearing it, sent him again gold and silver, and wrote unto him: Let the palace be roofed, if it is done. And the apostle said unto Adonai: I thank you, O Adonai in all things, that you did die for a little space that I might live forever in you, and that you have sold me that by me you might set free many. And he ceased not to teach and to refresh the afflicted, saying: This has Adonai dispensed unto you, and he gives unto every man his food: for he is the nourisher of orphans and steward of the widows, and unto all that are afflicted he is relief and rest.
20 Now when the king came to the city, he inquired of his friends concerning the palace which Yahudah that is called Ta’om was building for him. And they told him: Neither has he built a palace nor done aught else of that he promised to perform, but he goes about the cities and countries, and whatsoever he has he gives unto the poor, and teaches of a new Elohiym, and heals the sick, and drives out devils, and does many other wonderful things; and we think him to be a sorcerer. Yet his compassions and his cures which are done of him freely, and moreover the simplicity and kindness of him and his faith, do declare that he is a righteous man or an apostle of the new Elohiym whom he preaches; for he fasts continually and prays, and eats bread only, with salt, and his drink is water, and he wears but one garment alike in fair weather and in winter, and receives nought of any man, and that he has he gives unto others. And when the king heard that, he rubbed his face with his hands, and shook his head for a long space.
21 And he sent for the merchant which had brought him, and for the apostle, and said unto him: Have you built me the palace? And he said: Yea. And the king said: When then, shall we go and see it? but he answered him and said: You cannot see it now, but when you depart this life, then you shall see it. And the king was exceeding wroth, and commanded both the merchant and Yahudah which is called Ta’om to be put in bonds and cast into prison until he should inquire and learn unto whom the king’s money had been given, and so destroy both him and the merchant.
And the apostle went unto the prison rejoicing, and said to the merchant: Fear you nothing, only believe in the Elohiym that is preached by me, and you shall indeed be set free from this world, but from the world to come you shall receive life. And the king took thought with what death he should destroy them. And when he had determyd to flay them alive and burn them with fire, in the same night Gad the king’s brother fell sick, and by reason of his vexation and the deceit which the king had suffered he was greatly oppressed; and sent for the king and said unto him: O king my brother, I commit unto thee my house and my children; for I am vexed by reason of the provocation that has befallen thee, and lo, I die; and if you visit not with vengeance upon the head of that sorcerer, you will give my nephesh no rest in hell. And the king said to his brother: All this night have I considered how I should put him to death and this has seemed good to me, to flay him and burn him with fire, both him and the merchant which brought him (Syr. Then the brother of the king said to him: And if there be anything else that is worse than this, do it to him; and I give thee charge of my house and my children).
22 And as they talked together, the nephesh of his brother Gad departed. And the king mourned sore for Gad, for he loved him much, and commanded that he should be buried in royal and precious apparel (Syr. sepulcher). Now after this, angels took the nephesh of Gad the king’s brother and bore it up into heaven, showing unto him the places and dwellings that were there, and inquired of him: In which place would you dwell? And when they drew near unto the building of Ta’om the apostle which he had built for the king, Gad saw it and said unto the angels: I beseech you, my Adonai, suffer me to dwell in one of the lowest rooms of these. And they said to him: You cannot dwell in this building. And he said: Wherefore? And they say unto him: This is that palace which that Christian built for your brother. And he said: I beseech you, my Adonai, suffer me to go to my brother, that I may buy this palace of him, for my brother knows not of what sort it is, and he will sell it unto me.
23 Then the angels let the nephesh of Gad go. And as they were putting his grave clothes upon him, his nephesh entered into him and he said to them that stood about him: Call my brother unto me, that I may ask one petition of him. Straightway therefore they told the king, saying: Your brother is revived. And the king ran forth with a great company and came unto his brother and entered in and stood by his bed as one amazed, not being able to speak to him. And his brother said: I know and am persuaded, my brother, that if any man had asked of thee the half of your kingdom, you would have given it him for my sake; therefore, I beg of thee to grant me one favor which I ask of thee, that you would sell me that which I ask of thee. And the king answered and said: And what is it which you ask me to sell thee? And he said: Convince me by an oath that you will grant it to me. And the king swore unto him: One of my possessions, whatsoever you shall ask, I will give thee. And he said to him: Sell me that palace which you have in the heavens? And the king said: Whence should I have a palace in the heavens? And he said: Even that which that Christian built for thee, which is now in the prison, whom the merchant brought unto thee, having purchased him of one Yahusha: I mean that Hebrew slave whom you desired to punish as having suffered deceit at his hand: whereat I was grieved and died, and am now revived.
24 Then the king considering the matter, understood it of those eternal benefits which should come to him and which concerned him, and said: That palace I cannot sell thee, but I pray to enter into it and dwell therein and to be accounted worthy of the inhabitants of it, but if you indeed desire to buy such a palace, lo, the man lives and shall build thee one better than it. And forthwith he sent and brought out of prison the apostle and the merchant that was shut up with him, saying: I entreat thee, as a man that entreats the minister of Elohiym, that you would pray for me and beseech him whose minister you are to forgive me and overlook that which I have done unto thee or thought to do, and that I may become a worthy inhabitant of that dwelling for the which I took no pains, but you have built it for me, laboring alone, the grace of your Elohiym working with thee, and that I also may become a servant and serve this Elohiym whom you preach. And his brother also fell down before the apostle and said: I entreat and supplicate thee before your Elohiym that I may become worthy of his ministry and service, and that it may fall to me to be worthy of the things that were shown unto me by his angels.
25 And the apostle, filled with joy, said: I praise thee, O Adonai Yahusha, that you have revealed your truth in these men; for you only are the Elohiym of Truth, and none other, and you are him that knows all things that are unknown to the most; you, Adonai, are he that in all things shows compassion and spares men. For men by reason of the error that is in them have overlooked thee, but you have not overlooked them. And now at mv supplication and request do you receive the king and his brother and join them unto your fold, cleansing them with your washing and anointing them with your oil from the error that encompasses them: and keep them also from the wolves, bearing them into your meadows. And give them drink out of your immortal fountain which is neither fouled nor dried up; for they entreat and supplicate thee and desire to become your servants and ministers, and for this they are content even to be persecuted of your enemies, and for your sake to be hated of them and to be mocked and to die, like as you for our sake did suffer all these things, that you might preserve us, you that are Adonai and verily the good shepherd. And do you grant them to have confidence in you alone, and the succor that cometh of thee and the hope of their salvation which they look for from thee alone; and that they may be grounded in your mysteries and receive the perfect good of your graces and gifts, and flourish in your ministry and come to perfection in your Father.
26 Being therefore wholly set upon the apostle, both the king Gundaphorus and Gad his brother followed him and departed not from him at all, and they also relieved them that had need giving unto all and refreshing all. And they besought him that they also might henceforth receive the seal of the word, saying unto him: Seeing that our nephesh are at leisure and eager toward Elohiym, give you us the seal; for we have heard you say that the Elohiym whom you preach knows his own sheep by his seal. And the apostle said unto them: I also rejoice and entreat you to receive this seal, and to partake with me in this eucharist and blessing of Adonai, and to be made perfect therein. For this is Adonai and Elohiym of all, even Yahusha HaMashiach whom I preach, and he is the father of truth, in whom I have taught you to believe. And he commanded them to bring oil, that they might receive the seal by the oil. They brought the oil therefore, and lighted many lamps; for it was night (Syr. whom I preach: and the king gave orders that the bath should be closed for seven days, and that no man should bathe in it: and when the seven days were done, on the eighth day they three entered into the bath by night that Yahudah might baptize them. And many lamps were lit in the bath).
27 And the apostle arose and sealed them. And Adonai was revealed unto them by a voice, saying: Shalom be unto you brethren. And they heard his voice only, but his likeness they saw not, for they had not yet received the added sealing of the seal (Syr. had not been baptized). And Yahudah went up and stood upon the edge of the cistern and poured oil upon their heads and said:
Come, you holy name of HaMashiach that is above every name.
Come, you power of the Most High, and the compassion that is perfect.
Come, gift of the Most High.
Come, compassionate Mother.
Come, communion of the male.
Come, she that reveals the hidden mysteries.
Come, mother of the seven houses, that your rest may be in the eighth house.
Come, elder of the five members, mind, thought, reflection, consideration, reason; communicate with these young men.
Come, Ruach HaQodesh, and cleanse their reins and their heart, and give them the added seal, in the name of the Father and Son and Ruach HaQodesh.
And when they were sealed, there appeared unto them a youth holding a lighted torch, so that their lamps became dim at the approach of the light thereof. And he went forth and was no more seen of them. And the apostle said unto Adonai: Your light, O Adonai, is not to be contained by us, and we are not able to bear it, for it is too great for our sight.
And when the dawn came and it was morning, he broke bread and made them partakers of the eucharist of HaMashiach. And they were glad and rejoiced.
And many others also, believing, were added to them, and came into the refuge of the Savior.
28 And the apostle ceased not to preach and to say unto them: You men and women, boys and girls, young men and maidens, strong men and aged, whether bond or free, abstain from fornication and covetousness and the service of the belly: for under these three heads all iniquity comes about. For fornication blinds the mind and darkens the eyes of the nephesh and is an impediment to the life (conversation) of the body, turning the whole man unto weakness and casting the whole body into sickness. And greed puts the nephesh into fear and shame; being within the body it seizes upon the goods of others and is under fear lest if it restore other men’s goods to their owner it be put to shame. And the service of the belly casts the nephesh into thoughts and cares and vexations, taking thought lest it come to be in want, and have need of those things that are far from it. If then, you be rid of these you become free of care and grief and fear, and that abides with you which was said by the Savior: Take no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Remember also that word of him of whom I spoke: Look at the ravens and see the fowls of the heaven, that they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and Elohiym dispenses unto them; how much more unto you, O you of little faith? But look you for his coming and have your hope in him and believe on his name. For he is the judge of the quick and the dead, and he gives to everyone according to their deeds, and at his coming and his latter appearing no man has any word of excuse when he is to be judged by him, as though he had not heard. For his heralds do proclaim in the four quarters of the world. Repent you, therefore, and believe the promise and receive the yoke of meekness and the light burden, that you may live and not die. These things get, these keep. Come forth of the darkness that the light may receive you! Come unto him that is indeed good, that you may receive grace of him and implant his sign in your nephesh.
29 And when he had thus spoken, some of them that stood by said: It is time for the creditor to receive the debt. And he said unto them: He that is Adonai of the debt desires always to receive more; but let us give him that which is due. And he blessed them and took bread and oil and herbs and salt and blessed and gave unto them; but he himself continued his fast, for Adonai’s day was coming on.
And when night fell and he slept, Adonai came and stood at his head, saying: Ta’om, rise early, and having blessed them all, after the prayer and the ministry go by the eastern road two miles and there will I show thee my glory: for by your going shall many take refuge with me, and you shall bring to light the nature and power of the enemy. And he rose up from sleep and said unto the brethren that were with him: Children, Adonai would accomplish somewhat by me today, but let us pray, and entreat of him that we may have no impediment toward him, but that as at all times, so now also it may be done according to his desire and will by us. And having said so, he laid his hands on them and blessed them, and broke the bread of the eucharist and gave it to them, saying: This Eucharist shall be unto you for compassion and mercy, and not unto judgement and retribution. And they said Amen.
Act the Third: Concerning the servant.
30 And the apostle went forth to go where Adonai had bidden him; and when he was near to the second mile (stone) and had turned a little out of the way, he saw the body of a comely youth lying, and said: Adonai, is it for this that you have brought me forth, to come hither that I might see this (trial) temptation? Your will therefore be done as you desire. And he began to pray and to say: O Adonai, the judge of the quick and the dead, of the quick that stand by and the dead that lie here, and master and father of all things; and father not only of the nephesh that are in bodies but of them that have gone forth of them, for of the nephesh also that are in pollutions (al. bodies) you are Adonai and judge; come you at this hour wherein I call upon thee and show forth your glory upon him that lies here. And he turned himself unto them that followed him and said: This thing is not come to pass without cause, but the enemy has affected it and brought it about that he may assault us thereby; and see you that he has not made use of another sort, nor wrought through any other creature save that which is his subject.
31 And when he had so said, a great black serpent (dragon) came out of a hole, beating with his head and shaking his tail upon the ground, and with a loud voice said unto the apostle: I will tell before thee the cause wherefore I slew this man, since you are come hither for that end, to reprove my works. And the apostle said: Yea, say on. And the serpent: There is a certain beautiful woman in this village over against us; and as she passed by me I saw her and was enamored of her, and I followed her and kept watch upon her; and I found this youth kissing her, and he had intercourse with her and did other shameful acts with her: and for me it was easy to declare them before thee, for I know that you are the twin brother of Mashiach and always abolish our nature: but because I would not affright her, I slew him not at that time, but waited for him till he passed by in the evening and smote and slew him, and especially because he adventured to do this upon Adonai’s day.
And the apostle inquired of him, saying: Tell me of what seed and of what race you are.
32 And he said unto him: I am a reptile of the reptile nature and noxious son of the noxious father: of him that hurt and smote the four brethren which stood upright; I am son to him that sits on a throne over all the earth that receives back his own from them that borrow: I am son to him that girds about the sphere: and I am kin to him that is outside the ocean, whose tail is set in his own mouth: I am he that entered through the barrier (fence) into paradise and spoke with Havah the things which my father bade me speak unto her: I am he that kindled and inflamed Qayin to kill his own brother, and on my account did thorns and thistles grow up in the earth: I am he that cast down the angels from above and bound them in lusts after women, that children born of earth might come of them and I might work my will in them: I am he that hardened Pharaoh’s heart that he should slay the children of Yashar’el and enslave them with the yoke of cruelty: I am he that caused the multitude to err in the wilderness when they made the calf: I am he that inflamed Herod and enkindled Caiaphas unto false accusation of a lie before Pilate; for this was fitting to me: I am he that stirred up Yahudah and bribed him to deliver up HaMashiach: I am he that inhabits and holds the deep of Tartarus, but the Son of Elohiym has wronged me, against my will, and taken them that were his own from me: I am kin to him that is to come from the east, unto whom also power is given to do what he will upon the earth.
33 And when that serpent had spoken these things in the hearing of all the people, the apostle lifted up his voice on high and said: Cease you henceforth, O most shameless one, and be put to confusion and die wholly, for the end of your destruction is come, and dare not to tell of what you have done by them that have become subject unto thee. And I charge thee in the name of that Yahusha who until now contends with you for the men that are his own, that you suck out your venom which you have put into this man and draw it forth and take it from him. But the serpent said: Not yet has the end of our time come as you have said. Wherefore compels you me to take back that which I have put into this man, and to die before my time? for my own father, when he shall draw forth and suck out that which he has cast into the creation, then shall his end come. And the apostle said unto him: Show, then, now the nature of your father. And the serpent came near and set his mouth upon the wound of the young man and sucked forth the gall out of it. And by little and little the color of the young man, which was as purple, became white, but the serpent swelled up. And when the serpent had drawn up all the gall into himself, the young man leapt up and stood, and ran and fell at the apostle’s feet: but the serpent being swelled up, burst, and died, and his venom and gall were shed forth; and in the place where his venom was shed there came a great gulf, and that serpent was swallowed up therein. And the apostle said unto the king and his brother: Take workmen and fill up that place, and lay foundations and build houses upon them, that it may be a dwelling-place for strangers.
34 But the youth said unto the apostle with many tears: Wherein have I sinned against thee? for you are a man that have two forms, and wheresoever you will, there you are found, and are restrained of no man, as I behold. For I saw that man that stood by you and said unto thee: I have many wonders to show forth by your means and I have great works to accomplish by thee, for which you shall receive a reward; and you shall make many to live, and they shall be in rest in light eternal as children of Elohiym. Do you then, said he, speaking unto thee of me, quicken this youth that has been stricken of the enemy and be at all times his overseer. Well, therefore, are you come hither, and well shall you depart again unto him, and yet he never shall leave thee at any time. But I am become without care or reproach: and he has enlightened me from the care of the night and I am at rest from the toil of the day: and I am set free from him that provoked me to do thus, sinning against him that taught me to do contrary thereto: and I have lost him that is the kinsman of the night that compelled me to sin by his own deeds, and have found him that is of the light, and is my kinsman. I have lost him that darkens and blinds his own subjects that they may not know what they do and, being ashamed at their own works, may depart from him, and their works come to an end; and have found him whose works are light and his deeds truth, which if a man does, he repents not of them. And I have left him with whom lying abides, and before whom darkness goes as a veil, and behind him follows shame, shameless in indolence; and I have found him that shows me fair things that I may take hold on them, even the son of the truth that is akin unto concord, who scatters away the mist and enlightens his own creation and heals the wounds thereof and overthrows the enemies thereof. But I beseech thee, O man of Elohiym, cause me to behold him again, and to see him that is now become hidden from me, that I may also hear his voice whereof I am not able to express the wonder, for it belongs not to the nature of this bodily organ.
35 And the apostle answered him, saying: If you depart from these things whereof you have received knowledge, as you have said, and if you know who it is that has wrought this in thee, and learn and become a hearer of him whom now in your fervent love you seek; you shall both see him and be with him forever, and in his rest shall you rest, and shall be in his joy. But if you be slackly disposed toward him and turn again unto your former deeds, and leave that beauty and that bright countenance which now was showed thee, and forget the shining of his light which now you desire, not only will you be bereaved of this life but also of that which is to come and you will depart unto him whom you said you had lost, and will no more behold him whom you said you had found.
36 And when the apostle had said this, he went into the city holding the hand of that youth, and saying unto him: These things which you have seen, my child, are but a few of the many which Elohiym has, for he does not give us good tidings concerning these things that are seen, but greater things than these does he promise us; but so long as we are in the body we are not able to speak and show forth those which he shall give unto our nephesh. If we say that he gives us light, it is this which is seen, and we have it: and if we say it of wealth, which is and appears in the world, we speak of something which is in the world, and we need it not, for it has been said: Hardly shall a rich man enter into the kingdom of heaven: and if we speak of apparel of raiment wherewith they that are luxurious in this life are clad, it is named, and it has been said: They that wear soft raiment are in the houses of kings. And if of costly banquets, concerning these we have received a commandment to beware of them, not to be weighed down With reveling and drunkenness and cares of this life, speaking of things that are, and it has been said: Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, neither for your body, what you shall put on, for the nephesh is more than the meat and the body than the raiment. And of rest, if we speak of this temporal rest, a judgement is appointed for this also. But we speak of the world, which is above, of Elohiym and angels, of watchers and holy ones of the immortal food and the drink of the true vine, of raiment that endures and grows not old, of things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have they entered into the heart of sinful men, the things which Elohiym has prepared for them that love him. Of these things do we converse and of these do we bring good tidings. Do you therefore also believe on him that you mayest live, and put your trust in him, and you shall not die. For he is not persuaded with gifts, that you should offer them to him, neither is he in need of sacrifices, that you should sacrifice unto him. But look you unto him, and he will not overlook thee; and turn unto him, and he will not forsake thee. For his comeliness and his beauty will make thee wholly desirous to love him: and indeed, he permits you not to turn yourself away.
37 And when the apostle had said these things unto that youth, a great multitude joined themselves unto them. And the apostle looked and saw them raising themselves on high that they might see him, and they were going up into high places; and the apostle said unto them: You men that are come unto the assembly of Mashiach, and would believe on Yahusha, take example hereby, and see that if you be not lifted up, you cannot see me who am little, and are not able to spy me out who am like unto you. If, then, you cannot see me who am like you unless you lift yourselves up a little from the earth, how can you see him that dwelleth in the height and now is found in the depth, unless you first lift yourselves up out of your former conversation, and your unprofitable deeds, and your desires that abide not, and the wealth that is left here, and the possession of earth that grows old, and the raiment that corrupts, and the beauty that waxes old and vanishes away, and yet more out of the whole body wherein all these things are stored up, and which grows old and becometh dust, returning unto its own nature? For it is the body which maintains all these things. But rather believe on our Adonai Yahusha HaMashiach, whom we preach, that your hope may be in him and in him you may have life, world without end, that he may become your fellow traveler in this land of error and may be to you a harbor in this troublous sea. And he shall be to you a fountain springing up in this thirsty land and a chamber fill of food in this place of them that hunger, and a rest unto your nephesh, yea, and a physician for your bodies.
38 Then the multitude of them that were gathered together hearing these things wept, and said unto the apostle: O man of Elohiym, the Elohiym whom you preach, we dare not say that we are his, for the works which we have done are alien unto him and not pleasing to him; but if he will have compassion on us and pity us and save us, overlooking our former deeds, and will set us free from the evils which we committed being in error, and not impute them unto us nor make remembrance of our former sins, we will become his servants and will accomplish his will unto the end. And the apostle answered them and said: He reckons not against you, neither takes account of the sins which you have committed being in error but overlooks your transgressions which you have done in ignorance.
The Fourth Act: Concerning the colt.
39 And while the apostle yet stood in the highway and spoke with the multitude, a she ass’s colt came and stood before him (Syr. adds, And Yahudah said: It is not without the direction of Elohiym that this colt has come hither. But to thee I say, O colt that by the grace of our Adonai there shall be given speech to you before these multitudes who are standing here; and do you say whatsoever you will, that they may believe in the Elohiym of truth whom we preach. And the mouth of the colt was opened, and it spoke by the power of our Adonai and said to him) and opened its mouth and said: You twin of HaMashiach, apostle of the Most High and initiate in the hidden word of Mashiach who received his secret oracles, fellow worker with the Son of Elohiym, who being free have become a bondman, and being sold have brought many into liberty. You kinsman of the great race that has condemned the enemy and redeemed his own, that have become an occasion of life unto man in the land of the Indians; for you have come (against your will, Syr.) unto men that were in error, and by your appearing and your divine words they are now turning unto the Elohiym of truth which sent thee: mount and sit upon me and repose yourself until you enter into the city.
And the apostle answered and said: O Yahusha HaMashiach that understands the perfect mercy! O tranquility and quiet that now are spoken of by brute beasts! O hidden rest, that are manifested by your working, Savior of us and nourisher, keeping us and resting in alien bodies! O Savior of our nephesh! spring that is sweet and unfailing; fountain secure and clear and never polluted; defender and helper in the fight of your own servants, turning away and scaring the enemy from us, that fights in many battles for us and makes us conquerors in all; our true and undefeated champion; our holy and victorious captain: glorious and giving unto your own a joy that never passes away, and a relief wherein is none affliction; good shepherd that gives yourself for your own sheep, and have vanquished the wolf and redeemed your own lambs and led them into a good pasture: we glorify and praise thee and your invisible Father and your holy ruach, the mother of all creation.
40 And when the apostle had said these things, all the multitude that were there looked upon him, expecting to hear what he would answer to the colt. And the apostle stood a long time as it were astonished and looked up into heaven and said to the colt: Of whom are you and to whom belongs you? for marvelous are the things that are shown forth by your mouth, and amazing and such are hidden from the many.
And the colt answered and said: I am of that stock that served Balaam, and your Adonai also and teacher sat upon one that appertained unto me by race. And I also have now been sent to give you rest by your sitting upon me: and that I may receive (Syr. these may be confirmed in) faith, and unto me may be added that portion which now I shall receive by your service wherewith I serve thee; and when I have ministered unto thee, it shall be taken from me.
And the apostle said unto him: He is able who granted thee this gift, to cause it to be fulfilled unto the end in thee and in them that belong unto thee by race: for as to this mystery, I am weak and powerless. And he would not sit upon him. But the colt besought and entreated him that he might be blessed of him by ministering unto him. Then the apostle mounted him and sat upon him; and they followed him, some going before and some following after, and all of them ran, desiring to see the end, and how he would dismiss the colt.
41 But when he came near to the city gates he dismounted from him, saying: Depart, and be kept safe where you were. And straightway the colt fell to the ground at the apostle’s feet and died. And all they that were present were sorry and said to the apostle: Bring him to life and raise him up. But he answered and said unto them: I indeed am able to raise him by the name of Yahusha HaMashiach: but this is by all means expedient (or: this is not by any means expedient). For he that gave him speech that he might talk was able to cause that he should not die; and I raise him not, not as being unable, but because this is that which is expedient and profitable for him. And he bade them that were present to dig a trench and bury his body and they did as they were commanded.
The Fifth Act: Concerning the devil that took up his abode in the woman.
42 And the apostle entered into the city and all the multitude followed him. And he thought to go unto the parents of the young man whom he had made alive when he was slain by the serpent: for they earnestly besought him to come unto them and enter into their house. But a very beautiful woman on a sudden uttered an exceeding loud cry, saying: O Apostle of the new Elohiym that has come into India, and servant of that holy and only good Elohiym; for by thee is he preached, the Savior of the nephesh that come unto him, and by thee are healed the bodies of them that are tormented by the enemy, and you are he that is become an occasion of life unto all that turn unto him: command me to be brought before thee that I may tell thee what has befallen me, and peradventure of thee I may have hope, and these that stand by thee may be more confident in the Elohiym whom you preach. For I am not a little tormented by the adversary now this five years’ space [one Greek MS. And the apostle bade her come unto him, and the woman stood before him and said: I, O servant of him that is indeed Elohiym am a woman: the rest have, As a woman] I was sitting at the first in quiet, and peace encompassed me on every side and I had no care for anything, for I took no thought for any other.
43 And it fell out one day that as I came out from the bath there met me a man troubled and disturbed, and his voice and speech seemed to me exceeding faint and dim; and he stood before me and said: I and you will be in one love and we will have intercourse together as a man with his wife; And I answered and said to him: I never had to do with my betrothed, for I refused to marry, and how shall I yield myself to thee that would have intercourse with me in adulterous wise? And having said so, I passed on, and I said to my handmaid that was with me: Saw you that youth and his shamelessness, how boldly he spoke with me, and had no shame? but she said to me: I saw an old man speaking to thee. And when I was in my house and had dined my nephesh suggested unto me some suspicion and especially because he was seen of me in two forms; and having this in my mind I fell asleep. He came, therefore, that night and was joined unto me in his foul intercourse. And when it was day, I saw him and fled from him, and on the night following that he came and abused me; and now as you see me I have spent five years being troubled by him, and he has not departed from me. But I know and am persuaded that both devils and ruachs and destroyers are subject unto thee and are filled with trembling at your prayers: pray you therefore for me and drive away from me the devil that ever troubles me, that I also may be set free and be gathered unto the nature that is my from the beginning, and receive the grace that has been given unto my kindred.
44 And the apostle said: O evil that cannot be restrained! O shamelessness of the enemy! O envious one that are never at rest! O hideous one that subdues the comely! O you of many forms! As he will he appears, but his essence cannot be changed. O the crafty and faithless one! O the bitter tree whose fruits are like unto him! O the devil that overcomes them that are alien to him! O the deceit that uses impudence! O the wickedness that creeps like a serpent, and that is of his kindred! And when the apostle said this, the malicious one came and stood before him, no man seeing him save the woman and the apostle, and with an exceeding loud voice said in the hearing of all:
45 What have we to do with thee, you apostle of the Most High! What have we to do with thee, you servant of Yahusha HaMashiach? What have we to do with thee, you counsellor of the holy Son of Elohiym? Wherefore will you destroy us, whereas our time is not yet come? Wherefore will you take away our power? for unto this hour we had hope and time remaining to us. What have we to do with thee? You have power over your own, and we over ours. Wherefore will you act tyrannously against us when you yourself teach others not to act tyrannously. Wherefore do you crave other men’s goods and not suffice yourself with your own? Wherefore are you made like unto the Son of Elohiym which has done us wrong? for you resembles him altogether as if you wert born of him. For we thought to have brought him under the yoke like as we have the rest, but he turned and made us subject unto him: for we knew him not; but he deceived us with his form of all uncomeliness and his poverty and his neediness: for seeing him to be such, we thought that he was a man wearing flesh, and knew not that it is he that giveth life unto men. And he gave us power over our own, and that we should not in this present time leave them but have our walk in them: but you would get more than your due and that which was given thee and afflict us altogether.
46 And having said this the devil wept, saying: I leave thee, my fairest consort, whom long since I found and rested in thee; I forsake thee, my sure sister, my beloved in whom I was well pleased. What I shall do I know not, or on whom I shall call that he may hear me and help me. I know what I will do: I will depart unto some place where the report of this man has not been heard, and peradventure I shall call thee, my beloved by another name (Syr. for thee my beloved I shall find a substitute). And he lifted up his voice and said: Abide in peace for you have taken refuge with one greater than I, but I will depart and seek for one like thee, and if I find her not, I will return unto thee again: for I know that while you are near unto this man you have a refuge in him, but when he departs you will be such as you were before he appeared, and him you will forget, and I shall have opportunity and confidence: but now I fear the name of him that has saved thee. And having so said the devil vanished out of sight: only when he departed fire and smoke were seen there: and all that stood there were astonished.
47 And the apostle seeing it, said unto them: This devil has shown nought that is alien or strange to him, but his own nature, wherein also he shall be consumed, for verily the fire shall destroy him utterly and the smoke of it shall be scattered abroad. And he began to say:
Yahusha, the hidden mystery that has been revealed unto us, you are he that have shown unto us many mysteries; you that did call me apart from all my fellows and spoke unto me three (one, Syr.) words wherewith I am inflamed, and am not able to speak them unto others. Yahusha, man that was slain, dead buried! Yahusha, Elohiym of Elohiym, Savior that quickens the dead, and heals the sick! Yahusha, that were in need like [a man poor] and saves as one that has no need, that did catch the fish for the breakfast and the dinner and made all satisfied with a little bread. Yahusha, that did rest from the weariness of wayfaring like a man and walked on the waves like a Elohiym.
48 Yahusha most high, voice arising from perfect mercy, Savior of all, the right hand of the light, overthrowing the evil one in his own nature, and gathering all his nature into one place; you of many forms, that are only begotten, first-born of many brethren, Elohiym of the Most High Elohiym, man despised until now (Syr. and humble). Yahusha HaMashiach that neglect us not when we call upon thee, that are become an occasion of life unto all mankind, that for us was judged and shut up in prison, and loosed all that are in bonds, that was called a deceiver and redeem your own from error: I beseech thee for these that stand here and believe on thee, for they entreat to obtain your gifts, having good hope in your help, and having their refuge in your greatness; they hold their hearing ready to listen unto the words that are spoken by us. Let your peace come and tabernacle in them and renew them from their former deeds and let them put off the old man with his deeds and put on the new that now is proclaimed unto them by me.
49 And he laid his hands on them and blessed them, saying: The grace of our Adonai Yahusha HaMashiach shall be upon you forever. And they said, Amen. And the woman besought him, saying: O apostle of the Most High, give me the seal, that that enemy return not again unto me. Then he caused her to come near unto him (Syr. went to a river which was close by there) and laid his hands upon her and sealed her in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach HaQodesh; and many others also were sealed with her. And the apostle bade his minister (deacon) to set forth a table; and he set forth a stool which they found there, and spread a linen cloth upon it and set on the bread of blessing; and the apostle stood by it and said: Yahusha, that have accounted us worthy to partake of the eucharist of your holy body and blood, lo, we are bold to draw near unto your eucharist and to call upon your holy name: come you and communicate unto us.
50 And he began to say: Come, O perfect compassion, Come O communion of the male, Come, she that knows the mysteries of him that is chosen, Come, she that has part in all the combats of the noble champion, Come, the silence that reveals the great things of the whole greatness, Come, she that manifests the hidden things and makes the unspeakable things plain, the holy dove that bears the twin young, Come, the hidden mother, Come, she that is manifest in her deeds and gives joy and rest unto them that are joined unto her: Come and communicate with us in this eucharist which we celebrate in your name and in the love-feast wherein we are gathered together at your calling. And having so said he marked out the cross upon the bread, and brake it, and began to distribute it. And first he gave unto the woman, saying: This shall be unto thee for remission of sins and eternal transgressions (Syr. and for the everlasting resurrection). And after her he gave unto all the others also which had received the seal (Syr. and said to them: Let this eucharist be unto you for life and rest, and not for judgement and vengeance. And they said, Amen.).
The Sixth Act: Of the youth that murdered the Woman.
51 Now there was a certain youth who had wrought an abominable deed, and he came near and received of the eucharist with his mouth: but his two hands withered up, so that he could no longer put them unto his own mouth. And they that were there saw him and told the apostle what had befallen; and the apostle called him and said unto him: Tell me, my child, and be not ashamed, what it was that you did and came hither? for the eucharist of Adonai has convicted thee. For this gift which passes among many does rather heal them, that with faith and love draw near thereto, but you it has withered away; and that which is come to pass has not befallen without some effectual cause.
And the Youth, being convicted by the eucharist of Adonai, came at the apostle’s feet and besought him, saying: I have done an evil deed, yet I thought to do somewhat good. I was enamored of a woman that dwelleth at an inn without the city, and she also loved me; and when I heard of thee and believed, that you proclaim a living Elohiym, I came and received of thee the seal with the rest; for you said: Whosoever shall partake in the polluted union, and especially in adultery, he shall not have life with the Elohiym whom I preach. Whereas therefore I loved her much, I entreated her and would have persuaded her to become my consort in chastity and pure conversation, which you also teach but she would not. When, therefore, she consented not, I took a sword and slew her: for I could not endure to see her commit adultery with another man.
52 When the apostle heard this he said: O insane union how ruin you unto shamelessness! O unrestrained lust, how have you stirred up this man to do this! O work of the serpent how are you enraged against your own! And the apostle bade water to be brought to him in a basin; and when the water was brought, he said: Come, you waters from the living waters, that were sent unto us, the true from the true, the rest that was sent unto us from the rest, the power of salvation that cometh from that power which conquers all things and subdues them unto its own will: come and dwell in these waters, that the gift of the Ruach HaQodesh may be perfectly consummated in them. And he said unto the youth: Go, wash your hands in these waters. And when he had washed, they were restored; and the apostle said unto him: Believe you in our Adonai Yahusha HaMashiach that he is able to do all things? And he said: Though I be the least, yet I believe. But I committed this deed thinking that I was doing somewhat good: for I besought her as I told thee, but she would not obey me, to keep herself chaste.
53 And the apostle said to him: Come, let us go unto the inn where you did commit this deed. And the youth went before the apostle in the way, and when they came to the inn, they found her lying dead. And the apostle when he saw her was sorry, for she was a comely girl. And he commanded her to be brought into the midst of the inn: and they laid her on a bed and brought her forth and set her down in the midst of the court of the inn. And the apostle laid his hand upon her and began to say: Yahusha, who always shows yourself unto us; for this is your will, that we should at all times seek thee, and yourself have given us this power, to ask and to receive, and have not only permitted this, but have taught us to pray: who are not seen of our bodily eyes, but are never hidden from the eyes of our nephesh, and in your aspect are concealed, but in your works are manifested unto us: and in your many acts we have known you so far as we are able, and yourself have given us your gifts without measure, saying: Ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you: we beseech thee, therefore, having the fear of our sins; and we ask of you, not riches, not gold, not silver, not possessions, not aught else of the things which come of the earth and return again unto the earth; but this we ask of thee and entreat, that in your holy name you would raise up the woman that lieth here, by your power, to the glory and faith of them that stand by.
54 And he said unto the youth, having sealed him: Go and take hold on her hand and say unto her: I with my hands slew thee with iron, and with my hands in the faith of Yahusha I raise thee up. So the youth went to her and stood by her, saying: I have believed in thee, Mashiach Yahusha. And he looked unto Yahudah Ta’om the apostle and said to him: Pray for me that my Adonai may come to my help, whom I also call upon. And he laid his hand upon her hand and said: Come, Adonai Yahusha HaMashiach: unto her grant you life and unto me the earnest of faith in thee. And straightway as he drew her hand she sprang up and sat up, looking upon the great company that stood by. And she saw the apostle also standing over against her, and leaving the bed she leapt forth and fell at his feet and caught hold on his raiment, saying: I beseech thee, my Adonai where is that other that was with thee, who left me not to remain in that fearful and cruel place, but delivered me unto thee, saying: Take you this woman, that she may be made perfect, and hereafter be gathered into her place?
55 And the apostle said unto her: Relate unto us where you have been. And she answered: Do you who were with me and unto whom I was delivered desire to hear? And she began to say: A man took me who was hateful to look upon, altogether black, and his raiment exceedingly foul, and took me away to a place wherein were many pits, and a great stench and hateful odour issued thence. And he caused me to look into every pit, and I saw in the first pit flaming fire, and wheels of fire ran round there, and nephesh were hung upon those wheels, and were dashed against each other; and very great crying and howling was there, and there was none to deliver. And that man said to me: These nephesh are of your tribe, and when the number of their days is accomplished they are were delivered unto torment and affliction, and then are others brought in in their stead, and likewise these into another place. These are they that have reversed the intercourse of male and female. And I looked and saw infants heaped one upon another and struggling with each other as they lay on them. And he answered and said to me: These are the children of those others, and therefore are they set here for a testimony against them.
[Her description of hell-torments is largely derived from the Apocalypse of Kepha]
56 And he took me unto another pit, and I stooped and looked and saw mire and worms welling up, and nephesh wallowing there, and a great gnashing of teeth was heard thence from them. And that man said unto me: These are the nephesh of women which forsook their husbands and committed adultery with others and are brought into this torment. Another pit he showed me whereinto I stooped and looked and saw nephesh hanging, some by the tongue, some by the hair, some by the hands, and some head downward by the feet, and tormented with smoke and brimstone; concerning whom that man that was with me answered me: The nephesh which are hung by the tongue are slanderers, that uttered lying and shameful words, and were not ashamed, and they that are hung by the hair are unblushing ones which had no modesty and went about in the world bareheaded; and they that are hung by the hands, these are they that took away and stole other men’s goods, and never gave aught to the needy nor helped the afflicted, but did so, desiring to take all, and had no thought at all of justice or of the law; and they that hang upside down by the feet, these are they that lightly and readily ran in evil ways and disorderly paths, not visiting the sick nor escorting them that depart this life, and therefore each and every nephesh receives that which was done by it.
(Syr. omits almost the whole section.)
57 Again he took me and showed me a cave exceeding dark, breathing out a great stench, and many nephesh were looking out desiring to get somewhat of the air, but their keepers suffered them not to look forth. And he that was with me said: This is the prison of those nephesh which you saw: for when they have fulfilled their torments for that which each did, thereafter, do others succeed them: and there be some that are wholly consumed and some that are delivered over unto other torments. And they that kept the nephesh which were in the dark cave said unto the man that had taken me: Give her unto us that we may bring her in unto the rest until the time cometh for her to be delivered unto torment. But he answered them: I give her not unto you, for I fear him that delivered her to me: for I was not charged to leave her here, but I take her back with me until I shall receive order concerning her. And he took me and brought me unto another place wherein were men being sharply tormented. And he that was like unto thee took me and delivered me to you, saying thus: Take her, for she is one of the sheep that have gone astray. And I was taken by you, and now I am before you. I beseech you, therefore, and supplicate that I may not depart unto those places of punishment which I have seen.
58 And the apostle said: You have heard what this woman has related: and there are not these torments only, but others also, worse than these; and you, if you turn not unto this Elohiym whom I preach and abstain from your former works and the deeds which you committed without knowledge, shall have your end in those torments. Believe therefore on Mashiach Yahusha, and he will forgive you the sins you have committed hitherto and will cleanse you from all your bodily lusts that abide on the earth and will heal you of all your trespasses which follow you and depart with you and are found before you. Put off therefore every one of you the old man, and put on the new, and forsake your former walk and conversation; and let them that stole steal no more, but live by labouring and working; and let the adulterous no more fornicate, lest they deliver themselves unto eternal torment; for adultery is before Elohiym exceeding evil beyond other sins. And put away from you, covetousness and lying and drunkenness and slandering, and render not evil for evil: for all these things are strange and alien unto Elohiym who is preached by me: but rather walk you in faith and meekness and holiness and hope, wherein Elohiym delights, that you may become his own, expecting of him the gifts which some few only do receive.
59 All the people therefore believed and gave their nephesh obediently unto the living Elohiym and Mashiach Yahusha, rejoicing in the blessed works of the Most High and in his holy service. And they brought much money for the service of the widows: for the apostle had them gathered together in the cities, and unto all of them he sent provision by his own ministers, both clothes and nourishment. And he himself ceased not preaching and speaking to them and showing that this is Yahusha HaMashiach whom the scriptures proclaimed, who is come and was crucified, and raised the third day from the dead. And next he showed them plainly, beginning from the prophets, the things concerning the Mashiach, that it was necessary that he should come, and that in him should be accomplished all things that were foretold of him. And the fame of him went forth into all the cities and countries, and all that had sick or them that were oppressed by unclean ruachs brought them, and some they laid in the way whereby he should pass, and he healed them all by the power of Adonai. Then all that were healed by him said with one accord: Glory be to thee, Yahusha, who have granted us all alike healing through your servant and apostle Ta’om. And now being whole and rejoicing, we beseech thee that we may be of your flock, and be numbered among your sheep; receive us therefore, Adonai, and impute not unto us our transgressions and our former faults which we committed being in ignorance.
60 And the apostle said: Glory be to the only begotten of the Father! Glory be to the first-born of many brethren! Glory be to thee, the defender and helper of them that come unto your refuge that sleep not and awakened them that are asleep that live and give life to them that lie in death! O Elohiym Yahusha HaMashiach, Son of the living Elohiym, redeemer and helper, refuge, and rest of all that are weary in your work, giver of healing to them that for your name’s sake bear the burden and heat of the day: we give thanks for the gifts that are given us of you and granted us by your help and your dispensation that cometh unto us from thee.
61 Perfect you therefore these things in us unto the end that we may have the boldness that is in thee: look upon us for your sake, have we forsaken our homes and our parents, and for your sake have we gladly and willingly become strangers: look upon us, Adonai, for we have forsaken our own possessions for your sake, that we might gain thee the possession that cannot be taken away: look upon us, Adonai, for we have forsaken them that belong unto us by race, that we might be joined unto your kinship: look upon us, Adonai, that have forsaken our fathers and mothers and fosters, that we might behold your Father, and be satisfied with his divine food: look upon us, Adonai, for your sake have we forsaken our bodily consorts and our earthly fruits, that we might be partakers in that enduring and true fellowship, and bring forth true fruits, whose nature is from above, which no man can take from us, with whom we shall abide and who shall abide with us.
The Seventh Act: Of the Captain.
62 Now while the apostle Ta’om was proclaiming throughout all India the word of Elohiym, a certain captain of the king Misdaeus came to him and said unto him: I have heard of thee that you take no reward of any man, but even that you have you gives to them that need. For if you did receive rewards, I would have sent thee a great sum, and would not have come myself, for the king does nought without me: for I have much substance and am rich, even one of the rich men of India. And I have never done wrong to any; but the contrary has befallen me. I have a wife, and of her I had a daughter, and I am well affectioned toward her, as also nature requires and have never made trial of another wife. Now it chanced that there was a wedding in our city, and they that made the marriage feast were well beloved of me: they came in therefore and bade me to it, bidding also my wife and her daughter. Forasmuch then as they were my good friends I could not refuse. I sent her therefore, though she desired not to go, and with them I sent also many servants: so, they departed, both she and her daughter, decked with many ornaments.
63 And when it was evening, and the time was come to depart from the wedding I sent lamps and torches to meet them: and I stood in the street to espy when she should come, and I should see her with my daughter. And as I stood, I heard a sound of lamentation. Woe for her! was heard out of every mouth. And my servants with their clothes rent came to me and told me what was done. We saw, said they, a man, and a boy with him. And the man laid his hand upon your wife, and the boy upon your daughter: and they fled from them: and we smote them with our swords, but our swords fell to the ground. And the same hour the women fell down, gnashing their teeth and beating their heads upon the earth and seeing this we came to tell it thee. And when I heard this of my servants, I rent my clothes and smote my face with my hands, and becoming like one mad I ran along the street and came and found them cast in the marketplace; and I took them and brought them to my house, and after a long space they awaked and stood up, and sat down.
64 I began therefore to inquire of my wife: What is it that has befallen thee? And she said to me: Know you not what you have done unto me? for I prayed thee that I might not go to the wedding, because I was not of even health in my body; and as I went on the way and came near to the aqueduct wherein the water flows, I saw a black man standing over against me nodding at me with his head, and a boy like unto him standing by him; and I said to my daughter: Look at those two hideous men, whose teeth are like milk and their lips like soot. And we left them and went towards the aqueduct; and when it was sunset and we departed from the wedding, as we passed by with the young men and drew near the aqueduct, my daughter saw them first, and was affrighted and fled towards me; and after her I also beheld them coming against us: and the servants that were with us fled from them and they struck us, and cast down both me and my daughter. And when she had told me these things, the devils came upon them again and threw them down: and from that hour they are not able to come forth but are shut up in one room or a second: and on their account I suffer much and am distressed: for the devils throw them down wheresoever they find them, and strip them naked. I beseech and supplicate thee before Elohiym, help me and have pity on me, for it is now three years that a table has not been set in my house, and my wife and my daughter have not sat at a table: and especially for my unhappy daughter, which has not seen any good at all in this world.
65 And the apostle, hearing these things from the captain, was greatly grieved for him, and said unto him: Believe you that Yahusha will heal them? And the captain said: Yea. And the apostle said: Commit yourself then unto Yahusha, and he will heal them and procure them succor. And the captain said: Show me him, that I may entreat him and believe in him. And the apostle said: He appears not unto these bodily eyes but is found by the eyes of the mind. The captain therefore lifted up his voice and said: I believe in thee, Yahusha, and entreat and supplicate thee, help my little faith which I have in thee. And the apostle commanded Xenophon the deacon to assemble all the brethren; and when the whole multitude was gathered, the apostle stood in the midst and said:
66 Children and brethren that have believed on Adonai, abide in this faith, preaching Yahusha who was proclaimed unto you by me, to bring you hope in him; and be not forsaken of him, and he will not forsake you. While you sleep in this slumber that weighs down the sleepers, he, sleeping not, keeps watch over you; and when you sail and are in peril and none can help, he walking upon the waters will support and aide. For I am now departing from you, and it appears not if I shall again see you according to the flesh. Be you not therefore like unto the people of Yashar’el, who losing sight of their pastors for an hour, stumbled. But I leave unto you Xenophon the deacon in my stead; for he also like myself proclaims Yahusha: for neither am I aught, nor he, but Yahusha only; for I also am a man clothed with a body, a son of man like one of you; for neither have I riches as it is found with some, which also convict them that possess them, being wholly useless, and left behind upon the earth, whence also they came, and they bear away with them the transgressions and blemishes of sins which befall men by their means. And scantly are rich men found in almsgiving: but the merciful and lowly in heart, these shall inherit the kingdom of Elohiym: for it is not beauty that endures with men, for they that trust in it, when age comes upon them, shall suddenly be put to shame: all things therefore have their time; in their season are they loved and hated. Let your hope then be in Yahusha HaMashiach the Son of Elohiym, which is always loved, and always desired: and be mindful of us, as we of you: for we too, if we fulfil not the burden of the commandments are not worthy to be preachers of this name, and hereafter shall we pay the price of our own head.
67 And he prayed with them and continued with them a long time in prayer and supplication, and committing them unto Adonai, he said: O Adonai that rules over every nephesh that is in the body; Adonai, Father of the nephesh that have their hope in thee and expect your mercies: that redeems from error the men that are your own and sets free from bondage and corruption your subjects that come unto your refuge: be you in the flock of Xenophon and anoint it with holy oil, and heal it of sores, and preserve it from the ravening wolves. And he laid his hand on them and said: The shalom of Adonai shall be upon you and shall journey with us.
The Eighth Act: Of the wild asses.
68 The apostle therefore went forth to depart on the way: and they all escorted him, weeping and adjuring him to make remembrance of them in his prayers and not to forget them. He went up then and sat upon the chariot, leaving all the brethren, and the captain came and awaked the driver, saying: I entreat and pray that I may become worthy to sit beneath his feet, and I will be his driver upon this way, that he also may become my guide in that way whereby few go.
69 And when they had journeyed about two miles, the apostle begged the captain and made him rise and caused him to sit by him, suffering the driver to sit in his own place. And as they went along the road, it came to pass that the beasts were wearied with the great heat and could not be stirred at all. And the captain was greatly vexed and wholly cast down and thought to run on his own feet and bring other beasts for the use of the chariot; but the apostle said: Let not your heart be troubled nor affrighted but believe on Yahusha HaMashiach whom I have proclaimed unto thee, and you shall see great wonders. And he looked and saw a herd of wild asses feeding by the wayside and said to the captain: If you have believed on Mashiach Yahusha, go unto that herd of wild asses and say: Yahudah Ta’om the apostle of Mashiach the new Elohiym said unto you: Let four of you come, of whom we have need.
70 And the captain went in fear, for they were many; and as he went, they came to meet him; and when they were near, he said unto them: Yahudah Ta’om the apostle of the new Elohiym commands you: Let four of you come, of whom I have need.
And when the wild asses heard it, they ran with one accord and came to him, and when they came, they gave him reverence.
[Syr. has a long prayer: And Yahudah Ta’om the apostle of our Adonai lifted up his voice in praise and said: Glorious are you, Elohiym of truth and Adonai of all natures, for you did will with your will, and make all your works and finish all your creatures, and bring them to the rule of their nature, and lay upon them all your fear that they might be subject to your command. And your will trod the path from your secrecy to manifestation, and was caring for every nephesh that you did make, and was spoken of by the mouth of all the prophets, in all visions and sounds and voices; but Yashar’el did not obey because of their evil inclination. And you, because you are Adonai of all, have a care for the creatures, so that you spread over us your mercy in him who came by your will and put on the body, your creature, which you did will and form according to your glorious wisdom. He whom you did appoint in your secrecy and establish in your manifestation, to him you have given the name of Son, he who was your will, the power of your thought; so that you are by various names, the Father and the Son and the Ruach, for the sake of the government of your creatures, for the nourishing of all natures, and you are one in glory and power and will; and you are divided without being separated, and are one though divided, and all subsists in thee and is subject to thee, because all is yours. And I rely upon thee, Adonai, and by your command have subjected these dumb beasts, that you might show your ministering power upon us and upon them because it is needful, and that your name might be glorified in us and in the beasts that cannot speak.]
And the apostle said unto them: Shalom be unto you. Yoke four of you in the stead of these beasts that have come to a stand. And every one of them came and pressed to be yoked: there were then four stronger than the rest, which also were yoked. And the rest, some went before, and some followed. And when they had journeyed a little way he dismissed the colts, saying: I say unto you the inhabitants of the desert, depart unto your pastures, for if I had had need of all, you would all have gone with me; but now go unto your place wherein you dwell. And they departed quietly until they were no more seen.
71 Now as the apostle and the captain and the driver went on, the wild asses drew the chariot quietly and evenly, lest they should disturb the apostle of Elohiym. And when they came near to the city gate they turned aside and stood still before the doors of the captain’s house. And the captain said: It is not possible for me to relate what has happened, but when I see the end, I will tell it. The whole city therefore came to see the wild asses under the yoke; and they had also heard the report of the apostle that he was to come and visit them. And the apostle asked the captain: Where is your dwelling, and whither do you bring us? And he said to him: You yourself Know that we stand before the doors, and these which by your commandment are come with thee know it better than I.
72 And having so said he came down from the chariot. The apostle therefore began to say: Yahusha HaMashiach, that are blasphemed by the ignorance of thee in this country; Yahusha, the report of whom is strange in this city; Yahusha, that receives all sends on before the apostles in every country and in every city, and all your that are worthy are glorified in thee; Yahusha, that did take a form and become as a man, and were seen of all us that you might not separate us from your own love: you, Adonai, are he that gave yourself for us, and with your blood have purchased us and gained us as a possession of great price: and what have we to give thee, Adonai, in exchange for your life which you gave for us? for that which we would give, you gave us: and this is, that we should entreat of thee and live.
73 And when he had said so, many assembled from every quarter to see the apostle of the new Elohiym. And again, the apostle said: Why stand we idle? Yahusha, Adonai, the hour is come: what will you have done? command therefore that that be fulfilled which needs to be done.
Now, the captain’s wife and her daughter were sore borne down by the devils, so that they of the house thought they would rise up no more: for they suffered them not to partake of aught, but cast them down upon their beds recognizing no man until that day when the apostle came thither. And the apostle said unto one of the wild asses that were yoked on the right hand: Enter you within the gate, and stand there and call the devils and say to them: Yahudah Ta’om the apostle and Talmidiym of Yahusha HaMashiach said unto you: Come forth hither: for on your account am I sent and unto them that pertain to you by race, to destroy you and chase you unto your place, until the time of the end come and you go down into your own deep of darkness.
74 And that wild ass went in, a great multitude being with him, and said: Unto you I speak, the enemies of Yahusha that is called Mashiach: unto you I speak that shut your eyes lest you see the light: unto you I speak, children of Gehenna and of destruction, of him that ceases not from evil until now, that always renews his workings and the things that befit his being: unto you I speak, most shameless, that shall perish by your own hands. And what I shall say of your destruction and end, and what I shall tell, I know not. For there are many things and innumerable to the hearing: and greater are your doings than the torment that is reserved for you. But unto thee I speak, devil, and to your son that follows with thee: for now, am I sent against you. And wherefore should I make many words concerning your nature and root, which yourselves know and are not ashamed of? but Yahudah Ta’om the apostle of Mashiach Yahusha said unto you, he that by much love and affection is sent hither: Before all this multitude that stands here, come forth and tell me of what race you are.
75 And straightway the woman came forth with her daughter, both like dead persons and dishonored in aspect: and the apostle beholding them was grieved, especially for the girl, and said unto the devils: Elohiym forbid that for you there should be sparing or propitiation, for you know not to spare nor to have pity: but in the name of Yahusha, depart from them and stand by their side. And when the apostle had so said, the women fell down and became as dead; for they neither had breath nor uttered speech: but the devil answered with a loud voice and said: Are you come hither again, you that deride our nature and race? are you come again, that blot out our devices? and as I take it, you would not suffer us to be upon the earth at all: but this at this time you cannot accomplish. And the apostle guessed that this devil was he that had been driven out from that other woman.
76 And the devil said: I beseech thee, give me leave to depart even whither you will, and dwell there and take commandment from thee, and I will not fear the ruler that has authority over me. For like as you are come to preach good tidings, so I also am come to destroy; and like as, if you fulfil not the will of him that sent thee, he will bring punishment upon your head, so I also if I do not the will of him that sent me, before the season and time appointed, shall be sent unto my own nature; and like as your Mashiach helps thee in that you do, so also my father helps me in that I do; and like as for thee he prepares vessels worthy of your inhabiting, so also for me he seeks out vessels whereby I may accomplish his deeds; and like as he nourishes and provides for his subjects, so also for me he prepares chastisements and torments, with them that become my dwelling places; and like as for a recompense of your working he gives thee eternal life, so also unto me he gives for a reward of my works eternal destruction; and like as you are refreshed by your prayer and your good works and spiritual thanksgivings, so I also am refreshed by murders and adulteries and sacrifices and libations of wine, and like as you convert men unto eternal life, so I also pervert them that obey me unto eternal destruction and torment: and you receive your own and I my.
77 And when the devil had said these things and yet more the apostle said: Yahusha commands thee and your son by me to enter no more into the habitation of man: but go you forth and depart and dwell wholly apart from the habitation of men.
And the devils said unto him: You have laid on us a harsh commandment: but what will you do unto them that now are concealed from thee? for they that have wrought all the images rejoice in them more than thee: and many of them do the more part worship, and perform their will, sacrificing to them and bringing them food, by libations and by wine and water and offering with oblations. And the apostle said: They also shall now be abolished, with their works. And suddenly the devils vanished away: but the women lay cast upon the earth as if were dead, and without speech.
78 And the wild asses stood together and parted not one from another; but he to whom speech was given by the power of Adonai, while all men kept silence, and looked to see what they would do, the wild ass said unto the apostle: Why stand you idle, O apostle of Mashiach the Most High, who look that you should ask of him the best of learning? Wherefore then tarry you, good Talmidiym? for lo, your teacher desires to show by your hands his mighty works. Why stand you still, O herald of the hidden one? for your (Adonai) wills to manifest through thee his unspeakable things, which he reserves for them that are worthy of him, to hear them. Why rest you, O doer of mighty works in the name of Adonai? for your Adonai encourages thee and engenders boldness in thee. Fear not, therefore; for he will not forsake the nephesh that belongs unto thee by birth. Begin therefore to call upon him and he will readily hearken to thee. Why stand you marveling at all his acts and his workings? for these are small things which he has shown by your means. And what will you tell concerning his great gifts? for you will not be sufficient to declare them. And why marvel you at his cures of the body which he works? especially when you know that healing of his which is secure and lasting, which he brings forth by his own nature? And why look you unto this temporal life, and have no thought of that which is eternal?
79 But unto you the multitudes that stand by and look to see these that are cast down raised up, I say, believe in the apostle of Yahusha HaMashiach: believe the teacher of truth, believe him that shows you the truth, believe Yahusha, believe on the Mashiach that was born, that the born may live by his life: who also was raised up through infancy, that perfection might appear by his manhood. He did teach his own Talmidiym: for he is the teacher of the truth and makes wise men wise, who went to school that through him perfect wisdom might be known he taught his teacher because he was the teacher of verity and the master of the wise. Who also offered the gift in the temple that he might show that every offering was sanctified. This is his apostle, the demonstrator of truth: this is he that performs the will of him that sent him. But there shall come false apostles and prophets of lawlessness, whose end shall be according to their deeds; preaching indeed and ordaining to flee from unrighteousness, but themselves at all times detected in sins, clad indeed with sheep’s clothing, but within, ravening wolves. Who suffice not themselves with one wife but corrupt many women; who, saying that they despise children, destroy many children, for whom they will pay the penalty; that content not themselves with their own possessions, but desire that all useless things should minister unto them only; professing to be his ; and with their mouth they utter one thing, but in their heart they think another; charging other men to beware of evil, but they themselves perform nought that is good; who are accounted temperate, and charge other men to abstain from fornication, theft, and covetousness, but in all these things do they themselves walk secretly, teaching other men not to do them.
80 And when the wild ass had declared all these things, all men gazed upon him. And when he ceased the apostle said: What I shall think concerning your beauty, O Yahusha, and what I shall tell of thee, I know not, or rather I am not able, for I have no power to declare it, O Mashiach that are in rest, and only wise that only know the inward of the heart and understands the thought. Glory be to thee, merciful and tranquil. Glory to thee, wise word. Glory to your compassion that was born unto us. Glory to your mercy that was spread out over us. Glory to your greatness that was made small for us. Glory to your most high kingship that was humbled for us. Glory to your might which was enfeebled for us. Glory to your Divinity that for us was seen in likeness of men. Glory to your manhood that died for us that it might make us live. Glory to your resurrection from the dead; for thereby rising and rest comes unto our nephesh. Glory and praise to your ascending into the heavens; for thereby you have showed us the path of the height and promised that we shall sit with thee on your right hand and with thee judge the twelve tribes of Yashar’el. You are the heavenly word of the Father: you are the hidden light of the understanding, demonstrator of the way of truth, driver away of darkness, and blotter-out of error.
81 Having thus spoken, the apostle stood over the women, saying: My Adonai and my Elohiym, I am not divided from thee, nor as one unbelieving do I call upon thee, who are always our helper and succorer and raiser-up; who breaths your own power into us and encourages us and give confidence in love unto your own servants. I beseech thee, let these nephesh be healed and rise up and become such as they were before they were smitten of the devils. And when he thus spoke the women turned and sat up. And the apostle bade the captain that his servants should take them and bring them within (Syr. and give them food, for they had not eaten for many days). And when they were gone in, the apostle said unto the wild asses, Follow me. And they went after him until he had brought them without the gate. And when they had gone out, he said to them: Depart in peace unto your pastures. The wild asses therefore went away willingly; and the apostle stood and took heed to them lest they should be hurt of any, until they had gone far off and were no more seen. And the apostle returned with the multitude into the house of the captain.
The Ninth Act: Of the Wife of Charisius.
82 Now it chanced that a certain woman, the wife of Charisius, that was next unto the king, whose name was Mygdonia, came to see and behold the new name and the new Elohiym who was being proclaimed, and the new apostle who had come to visit their country: and she was carried by her own servants; and because of the great crowd and the narrow way they were not able to bring her near unto him. And she sent unto her husband to send her more to minister to her; and they came and approached her, pressing upon the people and beating them. And the apostle saw it and said to them: Wherefore overthrow you them that come to hear the word, and are eager for it? and you desire to be near me but are far off, as it was said of the multitude that came unto Adonai: Having eyes you see not, and having ears you hear not; and he said to the multitudes: He that has ears to hear, let him hear; and: Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
83 And looking upon them that carried her, he said unto them: This blessing and this admonition which was promised unto them is for you that are heavily burdened now. You are they that carry burdens grievous to be borne and are borne about by her command. And though you are men, they lay on you loads as on brute beasts, for they that have authority over you think that you are not men such as themselves, whether bond or free. For neither shall possessions profit the rich, nor poverty save the poor from judgement; nor have we received a commandment which we are not able to perform, nor has he laid on us burdens grievous to be borne which we are not able to carry; nor building which men build; nor to hew stones and prepare houses, as your craftsmen do by their own knowledge. But this commandment have we received of Adonai, that that which pleases not us when it is done by another this we should not do to any other man.
84 Abstain therefore first from adultery, for this is the beginning of all evils, and next from theft, which enticed Yahudah Iscariot, and brought him unto hanging; and from covetousness, for as many as yield unto covetousness see not that which they do; and from vainglory and from all foul deeds, especially them of the body, whereby comes eternal condemnation. For this is the chief city of all evils; and likewise, it brings them that hold their heads high unto tyranny, and draws them down unto the deep, and subdues them under its hands that they see not what they do; wherefore the things done of them are hidden from them.
85 But do you become well-pleasing unto Elohiym in all good things, in meekness and quietness: for these do Elohiym spare and grants eternal life and sets death at nought. And in gentleness which follows on all good things and overcomes all enemies and alone receives the crown of victory: with gentleness, and stretching out of the hand to the poor, and supplying the want of the needy, and distributing to them that are in necessity, especially them that walk in holiness. For this is chosen before Elohiym and leadeth unto eternal life: for this is before Elohiym the chief city of all good: for they that strive not in the course of Mashiach shall not obtain holiness. And holiness did appear from Elohiym, doing away fornication, overthrowing the enemy, well-pleasing unto Elohiym: for she is an invincible champion, having honor from Elohiym, glorified of many: she is an ambassador of peace, announcing peace: if any gain her he abides without care, pleasing Adonai, expecting the time of redemption: for she does nothing amiss, but gives life and rest and joy unto all that gain her.
86 But meekness has overcome death and brought him under authority, meekness has enslaved the enemy, meekness is the good yoke: meekness fears not and opposes not the many: meekness is peace and joy and exaltation of rest. Abide you therefore in holiness and receive freedom from me and be near unto meekness for in these three heads is portrayed the Mashiach whom I proclaim unto you. Holiness is the temple of Mashiach, and he who dwells in her gets her for a habitation, because for forty days and forty nights he fasted, tasting nothing: and he that keeps her shall dwell in her as on a mountain. And meekness is his boast: for he said unto Kepha our fellow apostle: Turn back your sword and put it again into the sheath thereof: for if I had willed so to do, could I not have brought more than twelve legions of angels from my Father?
87 And when the apostle had said these things in the hearing of all the multitude, they trod and pressed upon one another: and the wife of Charisius the king’s kinsman leapt out of her chair and cast herself on the earth before the apostle, and caught his feet and besought and said: O Talmidiym of the living Elohiym, you are come into a desert country, for we live in the desert; being like to brute beasts in our conversation, but now shall we be saved by your hands; I beseech thee, therefore, take thought of me, and pray for me, that the compassion of the Elohiym whom you preach may come upon me, and I may become his dwelling place and be joined in prayer and hope and faith in him, and I also may receive the seal and become a holy temple and he may dwell in me.
88 And the apostle said: I do pray and entreat for you all, brethren, that believe on Adonai, and for you, sisters, that hope in Mashiach, that in all of you the word of Elohiym may tabernacle and have his tabernacle therein: for we have no power over them (Syr. because you are given power over your own nephesh). And he began to say unto the woman Mygdonia: Rise up from the earth and compose yourself, take off your ornaments, be mindful of yourself. For this attire that is put on shall not profit thee nor the beauty of your body, nor your apparel, neither yet the fame of your rank, nor the authority of this world, nor the polluted intercourse with your husband shall avail thee if you be bereaved of the true fellowship: for the appearance of ornamenting cometh to nought, and the body waxes old and changes, and raiment wears out, and authority and lordship pass away accompanied with punishment, according as each person has conducted himself in it, and the fellowship of procreation also passes away, and is as it were condemnation. Yahusha only abides ever, and they that hope in him.
Thus, he spoke, and said unto the woman: Depart in peace, and Adonai shall make thee worthy of his own mysteries. But she said: I fear to go away, lest you forsake me and depart unto another nation. But the apostle said to her: Even if I go, I shall not leave thee alone, but Yahusha of his compassion will be with thee. And she fell down and did him reverence and departed unto her house.
89 Now Charisius, the kinsman of Misdaeus the king, bathed himself and returned and laid him down to dine. And he inquired concerning his wife, where she was; for she had not come out of her own chamber to meet him as was her custom. And her handmaids said to him: She is not well. And he entered quickly into the chamber and found her lying on the bed and veiled: and he unveiled her and kissed her, saying: Wherefore are you sorrowful today? And she said: I am not well. And he said unto her: Wherefore then did you not keep the guise of your freedom and remain in your house but did go and listen unto vain speeches and look upon works of sorcery? but rise up and dine with me, for I cannot dine without thee. But she said to him: Today I decline it, for I am greatly afeared.
90 And when Charisius heard this of Mygdonia, he would not go forth to dinner, but bade his servants bring food to him that he might sup in her presence: when then they brought it in, he desired her to dine with him, but she excused herself; since then she would not, he dined alone, saying unto her: On your account I refused to dine with Misdaeus the king, and you, were you not willing to dine with me? but she said: It is because I am not well. Charisius therefore rose up as he was wont and would sleep with her, but she said: Did I not tell thee that for today I refused it?
91 When he heard that he went to another bed and slept; and awaking out of sleep he said: My lady Mygdonia, hearken to the dream which I have seen. I saw myself lie at meat near to Misdaeus the king, and a dish of all sorts was set before us: and I saw an eagle come down from heaven and carry off from before me and the king two partridges, which he set against his heart; and again he came over us and flew about above us, and the king bade a bow to be brought to him; and the eagle again caught away from before us a pigeon and a dove, and the king shot an arrow at him, and it passed through him from one side to the other and hurt him not; and he being unscathed rose up into his own nest. And I awoke, and I am full of fear and sore vexed, because I had tasted of the partridge, and he suffered me not to put it to my mouth again. And Mygdonia said unto him: Your dream is good: for you every day eat partridges, but this eagle had not tasted of a partridge until now.
92 And when it was morning Charisius went and dressed himself and shod his right foot with his left shoe; and he stopped and said to Mygdonia: What then is this matter? for look, the dream and this action of my! But Mygdonia said to him: And this also is not evil but seems to me very good; for from an unlucky act there will be a change unto the better. And he washed his hands and went to salute Misdaeus the king.
93 And likewise Mygdonia rose up early and went to salute Yahudah Ta’om the apostle, and she found him discoursing with the captain and all the multitude, and he was advising them and speaking of the woman which had received Adonai in her nephesh, whose wife she was; and the captain said: She is the wife of Charisius the kinsman of Misdaeus the king. And: Her husband is a hard man, and in everything that he said to the king he obeys him: and he will not suffer her to continue in this mind which she has promised; for oftentimes has he praised her before the king, saying that there is none other like her in love: all things therefore that you speak unto her are strange unto her.
And the apostle said: If verily and surely Adonai has risen upon her nephesh and she has received the seed that was cast on her, she will have no care of this temporal life, nor fear death, neither will Charisius be able to harm her at all: for greater is he whom she has received into her nephesh, if she have received him indeed.
94 And Mygdonia hearing this said unto the apostle: In truth, my Adonai, I have received the seed of your words, and I will bear fruit like unto such seed. The apostle said: Our nephesh give praise and thanks unto thee, O Adonai, for they are yours: our bodies give thanks unto thee, which you have accounted worthy to become the dwelling-place of your heavenly gift. And he said also to them that stood by: Blessed are the holy, whose nephesh have never condemned them, for they have gained them and are not divided against themselves: blessed are the ruachoth of the pure, and they that have received the heavenly crown whole from the age which has been appointed them: blessed are the bodies of the holy, for they have been made worthy to become temples of Elohiym, that Mashiach may dwell in them: blessed are you, for you have power to forgive sins: blessed are you if you lose not that which is committed unto you, but rejoicing and departing bear it away with you: blessed are you the holy, for unto you it is given to ask and receive: blessed are you meek for you has Elohiym counted worthy to become heirs of the heavenly kingdom. Blessed are you meek, for you are they that have overcome the enemy: blessed are you meek, for you shall see the face of Adonai. Blessed are you that hunger for Adonai’s sake for you is rest laid up, and your nephesh rejoice from henceforth. Blessed are you that are quiet, (for you have been counted worthy) to be set free from sin and from the exchange of clean and unclean beasts. And when the apostle had said these things in the hearing of all the multitude, Mygdonia was the more confirmed in the faith and glory and greatness of Mashiach.
95 But Charisius the kinsman and friend of Misdaeus the king came to his breakfast and found not his wife in the house; and he inquired of all that were in his house: Whither is your mistress gone? And one of them answered and said: She has gone unto that stranger. And when he heard this of his servant, he was angry with the other servants because they had not straightway told him what was done: and he sat down and waited for her. And when it was evening, and she came into the house, he said to her: Where were you? And she answered and said: With the physician. And he said: Is that stranger a physician? And she said: Yea, he is a physician of nephesh: for most physicians do heal bodies that are dissolved, but he, the nephesh which are not destroyed. Charisius, hearing this, was very angry in his mind with Mygdonia because of the apostle, but he answered her nothing, for he was afraid; for she was above him both in wealth and birth: but he departed to dinner, and she went into her chamber. And he said to the servants: Call her to dinner. But she would not come.
96 And when he heard that she would not come out of her chamber, he went in and said unto her: Wherefore will you not dine with me and perchance not sleep with me as the habit is? yea, concerning this I have the greater suspicion, for I have heard that that sorcerer and deceiver teaches that a man should not live with his wife, and that which nature requires and the divinity has ordained he overthrows. When Charisius said these things, Mygdonia kept silent. He said to her again: My lady and consort Mygdonia, be not led astray by deceitful and vain words, nor by the works of sorcery which I have heard that this man performs in the name of Father, Son, and Ruach HaQodesh; for it was never yet heard in the world that any raised the dead, and, as I hear, it is reported of this man that he raises dead men. And for that he neither eats nor drinks, think not that for righteousness’ sake he neither eats nor drinks but this he does because he possesses nought, for what should he do which has not even his daily bread? And he has one garment because he is poor, and as for his not receiving aught of any; he does so, to be sure, because he knows in himself that he does not verily heal any man.
97 And when Charisius so said, Mygdonia was silent as any stone, but she prayed, asking when it should be day, that she might go to the apostle of Mashiach. And he withdrew from her and went to dinner heavy in mind, for he thought to sleep with her according to the habit. And when he was gone out, she bowed her knees and prayed, saying: Adonai Elohiym and Master, merciful Father, Savior Mashiach, do you give me strength to overcome the shamelessness of Charisius, and grant me to keep the holiness wherein you delight, that I also may by it find eternal life. And when she had prayed, she laid herself on her bed and veiled herself.
98 But Charisius having dined came upon her, and she cried out, saying: You have no more any room by me: for my Adonai Yahusha is greater than you, who is with me and rests in me. And he laughed and said: Well do you mock, saying this of that sorcerer, and well do you deride him, who said: You have no life with Elohiym unless you purify yourselves. And when he had so said he essayed to sleep with her, but she endured it not and cried out bitterly and said: I call upon thee, Adonai Yahusha, forsake me not! for with thee have I made my refuge; for when I learned that you are he that seeks out them that are veiled in ignorance and saves them that are held in error. And now I entreat thee whose report I have heard and believed, come you to my help and save me from the shamelessness of Charisius, that his foulness may not get the upper hand of me. And she smote her hands together and fled from him naked, and as she went forth, she pulled down the curtain of the bedchamber and wrapped it about her; and went to her nurse, and slept there with her.
99 But Charisius was in heaviness all night, and smote his face with his hands, and he was minded to go that very hour and tell the king concerning the violence that was done him, but he considered with himself, saying: If the great heaviness which is upon me compels me to go now unto the king, who will bring me in to him? for I know that my abuse has overthrown me from my high looks and my vainglory and majesty, and has cast me down into this vileness and separated my sister Mygdonia from me. Yea, if the king himself stood before the doors at this hour, I could not have gone out and answered him. But I will wait until dawn, and I know that whatsoever I ask of the king, he will grant it to me: and I will tell him of the madness of this stranger, how that it tyrannously casts down the great and illustrious into the depth. For it is not this that grieves me, that I am deprived of her companying, but for her am I grieved, because her greatness of nephesh is humbled: being an honorable lady in whom none of her house ever found fault (condemned), she has fled away naked, running out of her own bedchamber, and I know not whither she is gone; and it may be that she is gone mad by the means of that sorcerer, and in her madness has gone forth into the market-place to seek him; for there is nothing that appeals unto her lovable except him and the things that are spoken by him.
100 And so saving he began to lament and say: Woe to me, O my consort, and to thee besides! for I am too quickly bereaved of thee. Woe is me, my most dear one, for you excelled all my race: neither son nor daughter have I had of thee that I might find rest in them; neither have you yet dwelt with me a full year, and an evil eye has caught thee from me. Would that the violence of death had taken thee, and I should yet have reckoned myself among kings and nobles: but that I should suffer this at the hands of a stranger, and he is a slave that has run away, to my ill fortune and the sorrow of my unhappy nephesh! Let there be no impediment for me until I destroy him and avenge this night, and may I not be well-pleasing before Misdaeus the king if he avenge me not with the head of this stranger; (and I will also tell him) of Siphor the captain who has been the occasion of this. For by his means did the stranger appear here, and lodge at his house: and many there be that go in and come out whom he teaches a new doctrine; saying that none can live if he quit not all his substance and become a renouncer like himself: and he strives to make many partakers with him.
101 And as Charisius thought on these things, the day dawned: and after the night he put on a mean habit, and shod himself, and went downcast and in heaviness to salute the king. And when the king saw him, he said: Wherefore are you sorrowful, and come in such garb? and I see that your countenance is changed. And Charisius said unto the king: I have a new thing to tell thee and a new desolation which Siphor has brought into India, even a certain Hebrew, a sorcerer, whom he has sitting in his house and who departs not from him: and many are there that go in to him: whom also he teaches of a new Elohiym, and lays on them new laws such as never yet were heard, saving: It is impossible for you to enter into that eternal life which I proclaim unto you, unless you rid you of your wives, and likewise the wives of their husbands. And it chanced that my unlucky wife also went to him and became a hearer of his words, and she believed them, and in the night, she forsook me and ran unto the stranger. But send you for both Siphor and that sorcerer that is hid with him, and visit it on their head, lest all that are of our nation perish.
102 And when Misdaeus his friend heard this he said to him: Be not grieved nor heavy, for I will send for him and avenge thee, and you shall have your wife again, and the others that cannot, I will avenge. And the king went forth and sat on the judgement seat, and when he was set, he commanded Siphor the captain to be called. They went therefore unto his house and found him sitting on the right hand of the apostle and Mygdonia at his feet, hearkening to him with all the multitude. And they that were sent from the king said unto Siphor: Sit you here listening to vain words, and Misdaeus the king in his wrath thinketh to destroy thee because of this sorcerer and deceiver whom you have brought into your house? And Siphor hearing it was cast down, not because of the king’s threat against him, but for the apostle, because the king was disposed contrary to him. And he said to the apostle: I am grieved concerning thee: for I told thee at the first that that woman is the wife of Charisius the king’s friend and kinsman, and he will not suffer her to perform that she has promised, and all that he asks of the king he grants him. But the apostle said unto Siphor: Fear nothing, but believe in Yahusha that pleads for us all, for unto his refuge are we gathered together. And Siphor, hearing that, put his garment about him and went unto Misdaeus the king,
103 And the apostle inquired of Mygdonia: What was the cause that your husband was wroth with thee and devised this against us? And she said: Because I gave not myself up unto his corruption: for he desired last night to subdue me and subject me unto that passion which he serves: and he to whom I have committed my nephesh delivered me out of his hands; and I fled away from him naked, and slept with my nurse: but that which befell him I know not, wherefore he has contrived this. The apostle said: These things will not hurt us; but believe you on Yahusha, and he shall overthrow the wrath of Charisius and his madness and his impulse; and he shall be a companion unto thee in the fearful way, and he shall guide thee into his kingdom, and shall bring thee unto eternal life giving thee that confidence which passes not away nor changes.
104 Now Siphor stood before the king, and he inquired of him: Who is that sorcerer and whence, and what teaches he whom you have lurking in your house? And Siphor answered the king: You are not ignorant, O king, what trouble and grief I, with my friends had concerning my wife, whom you know, and many others remember, and concerning my daughter, whom I value more than all my possessions, what a time and trial I suffered; for I became a laughing-stock and a curse in all our country. And I heard the report of this man and went to him and entreated him and took him and brought him hither. And as I came by the way I saw wonderful and amazing things: and here also many did hear the wild ass and concerning that devil whom he drove out, and healed my wife and daughter, and now are they whole; and he asked no reward but requires faith and holiness, that men should become partakers with him in that which he does: and this he teaches to worship and fear one Elohiym, the ruler of all things, and Yahusha HaMashiach his Son, that they may have eternal life. And that which he eats is bread and salt, and his drink is water from evening unto evening, and he makes many prayers; and whatsoever he asks of his Elohiym, he gives him. And he teaches that this Elohiym is holy and mighty, and that Mashiach is living and makes alive, wherefore also he charges them that are there present to come unto him in holiness and purity and love and faith.
105 And when Misdaeus the king heard these things of Siphor, he sent many soldiers unto the house of Siphor the captain, to bring Ta’om the apostle and all that were found there. And they that were sent entered in and found him teaching many people; and Mygdonia sat at his feet. And when they beheld the great multitude that were about him, they feared, and departed to their king and said: We dare not say aught unto him, for there was a great multitude about him, and Mygdonia sitting at his feet was listening to the things that were spoken by him. And when Misdaeus the king and Charisius heard these things, Charisius leaped out from before the king and drew many people with him and said: I will bring him, O king, and Mygdonia whose understanding he has taken away. And he came to the house of Siphor the captain, greatly disturbed, and found him (Ta’om) teaching: but Mygdonia he found not, for she had withdrawn herself unto her house, having learned that it had been told her husband that she was there.
106 And Charisius said unto the apostle: Up, you wicked one and destroyer and enemy of my house: for me your sorcery harms not, for I will visit your sorcery on your head. And when he so said, the apostle looked upon him and said unto him: Your threats shall return upon thee, for me you will not harm any whit: for greater than thee and your king and all your army is Adonai Yahusha HaMashiach in whom I have my trust.
And Chalisius took a turban, of one of his slaves, and cast it about the neck of the apostle, saying: Hale him and bring him away; let me see if his Elohiym is able to deliver him out of my hands. And they hailed him and led him away to Misdaeus the king. And the apostle stood before the king, and the king said to him: Tell me who you are and by what power you do these things. But the apostle kept silent. And the king commanded his officers (subjects) that he should be scourged with a hundred and twenty-eight (hundred and fifty, Syr.) blows, and bound, and be cast into the prison; and they bound him and led him away. And the king and Charisius considered how they should put him to death, for the multitude worshipped him as elohiym. And they had it in mind to say: The stranger has reviled the king and is a deceiver.
107 But the apostle went unto the prison rejoicing and exulting, and said: I praise thee, Yahusha, for that you have not only made me worthy of faith in thee, but also to endure much for your sake. I give thee thanks therefore, Adonai, that you have taken thought for me and given me patience: I thank thee, Adonai, that for your sake I am called a sorcerer and a wizard. Receive you me therefore with the blessing of the poor, and of the rest of the weary, and of the blessings of them whom men hate and persecute and revile and speak evil words of them. For lo, for your sake I am hated: lo for your sake I am cut off from the many, and for your sake they call me such a one as I am not.
108 And as he prayed, all the prisoners looked on him, and besought him to pray for them: and when he had prayed and was set down, he began to utter a psalm in this wise:
[Here follows the Hymn of the Nephesh: a most remarkable composition, originally Syriac, and certainly older than the Acts, with which it has no real connection. We have it in Greek in one manuscript, the Vallicellian, and in a paraphrase by Nicetas of Thessalonica, found and edited by Bonnet.]
When I was an infant child in the palace of my Father and resting in the wealth and luxury of my nurturers, out of the East, our native country, my parents provisioned me and sent me.
And of the wealth of those their treasures they put together a load both great and light, that I might carry it alone.
Gold is the load, of them that are above (or of the land of the Ellaeans or Gilaeans), and silver of the great treasures (or of Gazzak the great) and stones, chalcedonies from the Indians and pearls the Kosani (Kushan).
And they armed me with adamant [which iron breaks] and they took off from me (Gr. put on me) the garment set with gems, spangled with gold, which they had made for me because they loved me and the robe that was yellow in hue, made for my stature.
And they made a covenant with me, and inscribed it on my understanding, that I should not forget it, and said:
If you go down into Egypt, and bring back thence the one pearl which is there in the of sea midst girt about by the devouring serpent you shall put on again the garment set with gems, and that robe whereupon it rests and become with your brother that is next unto us (Gr. of the well-remembered) an heir (Gr. herald) in our kingdom.
109 And I came out of the East by a road difficult and frightening, with two guides and I was untried in travelling by it. And I passed by the borders of the Mosani (Maishan) where the resort of the merchants of the East is, and reached the land of the Babylonians and the of Sarbug walls unto came.
But when I entered into Egypt, the guides left me which had journeyed with me. And I set forth by the quickest way to the serpent, and by his hole I abode watching for him to slumber and sleep, that I might take my pearl from him. And forasmuch as I was alone, I made my aspect strange, and appeared as an alien to my people. And there I saw my kinsman from the East, the free born a lad of grace and beauty, a son of princes (or an anointed one). He came unto me and dwelt with me, and I had him for a companion, and made him my friend and partaker in my journey. And I charged him to beware of the Egyptians, and of partaking of those unclean things. And I put on their raiment, lest I should seem strange, as one that had come from without to recover the pearl; and lest the Egyptians should awake the serpent against me.
But I know not by what occasion, they learned that I was not of their country. And with guile they mingled for me a deceit, and I tasted of their food. And I knew no more that I was a king’s son, and I became a servant unto their king. And I also forgot the pearl for which my fathers had sent me, and by means of the heaviness of their food I fell into a deep sleep.
110 But when this befell me, my fathers also were aware of it, and grieved for me and a proclamation was published in our kingdom, that all should meet at our doors.
And then the kings of Parthia and they that bare office and the great ones of the East made a resolve concerning me, that I should not be left in Egypt, and the princes wrote unto me signifying thus, and every noble signed his name to it:
From the (your) Father the King of kings, and your mother that rules the East, and your brother that is second unto us; unto our son that is in Egypt, peace.
Rise up and awake out of sleep and hearken unto the words of the letter and remember that you are a son of kings; lo, you have come under the yoke of bondage.
Remember the pearl for the which you was sent into Egypt. Remember your garment spangled with gold, and yourself deck should you wherewith wear which mantle glorious. Your name is named in the book of life, and with your brother whom you have received in our kingdom.
111 And the King sealed it with his right hand because of the evil ones, even the children of the Babylonians and the tyrannous demons of Labyrinthus. It flew and lit down by me and became all speech. And I, at the voice of it and the feeling of it, started up out of sleep and I took it up and kissed it. And the seal broke, and I read it.
And it was written concerning that which was recorded in my heart. And I remembered forthwith that I was a son of kings, and my freedom yearned (sought) after its kind. I also remembered the pearl for the which I was sent down into Egypt and I came with charms against the terrible serpent, and I overcame him (or put him to sleep) by naming the name of my Father upon him. And I caught away the pearl and turned back to bear it unto my fathers.
And I stripped off the filthy garment and left it in their land and directed my way forthwith to the light of my fatherland in the East. And on the way I found my letter that had awakened me, and it, like it had taken a voice and raised me when I slept, so also guided me with the light that came from it.
For at times the royal garment of silk shone before my eyes, and with love leading me and drawing me onward, I passed by Labyrinthus, and I left Babylon upon my left hand and I came unto Meson the great, that lies on the shore of the sea, from the heights of Warkan had my parents sent thither by the hand of their treasurers, unto whom they committed it because of their faithfulness.
112 But I remembered not the brightness of it; for I was yet a child and very young when I had left it in the palace of my Father, but suddenly, when I saw the garment made unto me as it had been in a mirror. And I beheld upon it all myself (or saw it wholly in myself) and I knew and saw myself through it, that we were divided asunder, being of one; and again, were one in one shape.
Yea, the treasurers also which brought me the garment I beheld, that they were two, yet one shape was upon both, one royal sign was set upon both of them. The money and the wealth had they in their hands, and paid me the due price, and the lovely garment, which was variegated with bright colours with gold and precious stones and pearls of comely hue they were fastened above in the height. And the likeness of the King of kings was all in all of it. Sapphire stones were fitly set in it above, being its manifold hues.
113 And again I saw that throughout it motions of knowledge were being sent forth, and it was ready to utter speech.
And I heard it speak:
I am of him that is more valiant than all men, for whose sake I was reared up with the Father himself.
And I also perceived his stature (I perceived in myself that my stature grew in accordance with his working). And all its royal motions rested upon me as it grew toward the impulse of it. And with its kingly motions it was spreading itself toward me. And it hastened, reaching out from the hand of him, it brought that unto him that would receive it and me also did yearning arouse to start forth and meet it and receive it. And I stretched forth and received it and adorned myself with the beauty of the colors thereof and in my royal robe excelling in beauty I arrayed myself wholly.
And when I had put it on, I was lifted up unto the place of peace and homage and I bowed my head and worshipped the brightness of the Father which had sent it unto me, for I had performed his commandments, and he likewise that which he had promised, and at the doors of his palace which was from the beginning I mingled among, and he rejoiced over me and received me with him into his palace, and all his servants do praise him with sweet voices.
And he promised me that with him I shall be sent unto the gates of the king, that with my gifts and my pearl we may appear together before the king.
[Immediately on this, in the Syriac, follows a Song of Praise of Ta’om the apostle consisting of forty-two ascriptions of praise and four final clauses. It has no bearing on the Acts and is not in itself so remarkable as to need to be inserted here.]
114 And Charisius went home glad, thinking that his wife would be with him, and that she had become such as she was before, even before she heard the divine word and believed on Yahusha. And he went, and found her with her hair disheveled and her clothes rent, and when he saw it, he said unto her: My lady Mygdonia, why does this cruel disease keep hold on thee? and wherefore have you done this? I am your husband from your virginity, and both the elohiym and the law grant me to have rule over thee, what is this great madness of yours, that you are become a derision in all our nation? but put you away the care that comes of that sorcerer; and I will remove his face from among us, that you mayest see him no more.
115 But Mygdonia when she heard that gave herself up unto grief, groaning and lamenting and Charisius said again; Have I then so much wronged the elohiym that they have afflicted me with such a disease? what is my great offence that they have cast me into such humiliation? I beseech thee. Mygdonia, tangle my nephesh no more with the pitiful sight of thee and your mean appearance and afflict not my heart with care for thee. I am Charisius, your husband, whom all the nation honors and fears. What must I do? I know not whither to turn. What am I to think? shall I keep silence and endure? yet who can be patient when men take his treasure? and who can endure to lose your sweet ways? and what is there for me? Your beauty is ever before me. The fragrance of thee is in my nostrils, and your bright face is fixed in my eyes. They are taking away my nephesh, and the fair body which I rejoiced to see they are destroying, and that sharpest of eyes they are blinding and cutting off my right hand: my joy is turning to grief and my life to death, and the light of it is being dyed with darkness. Let no man of you my kindred henceforth look on me; from you no help has come to me, nor will I hereafter worship the elohiym of the east that have enwrapped me in such calamities, nor pray to them anymore, nor sacrifice to them, for I am bereaved of my spouse. And what else should I ask of them? for all my glory is taken away. Yet am I a prince and next unto the king in power; but Mygdonia has set me at nought and taken away all these things. Would that someone blind one of my eyes, and that your eyes would look upon me as they were wont.
116 And while Charisius spoke thus with tears, Mygdonia sat silent and looking upon the ground; and again he came unto her and said: My lady Mygdonia, most desired of me, remember that out of all the women that are in India I chose and took thee as the most beautiful, though I might have joined to myself in marriage many more beautiful: but yet I lie, Mygdonia, for by the elohiym it would not have been possible to find another like thee in the land of India; but woe is me always, for you will not even answer me a word: but if you will, revile me, so that I may only be vouchsafed a word from thee. Look at me, for I am more comely than that sorcerer: but you are my wealth and honor: and all men know that there is none like me: and you are my race and kindred; and lo, he takes thee away from me.
117 And when Charisius had so said, Mygdonia said unto him: He whom I love is better than thee and your substance: for your substance is of earth and returns unto the earth; but he whom I love is of heaven and will take me with him unto heaven. Your wealth shall pass away, and your beauty shall vanish, and your robes, and your many works: and you shall be alone, naked, with your transgressions. Call not to my remembrance your deeds unto me, for I pray Adonai that I may forget thee, so as to remember no more those former pleasures and the custom of the body, which shall pass away as a shadow, but Yahusha only endures forever, and the nephesh which hope in him. Yahusha himself shall quit me of the shameful deeds which I did with thee. And when Charisius heard this, he turned him to sleep, vexed in nephesh, saying to her: Consider it by yourself all this night: and if you will be with me such as you were before, and not see that sorcerer, I will do all according to your mind, and if you will remove your affection from him I will take him out of the prison and let him go and remove into another country, and I will not vex thee, for I know that you make much of the stranger. And not with thee first did this matter come about, for many other women also has he deceived with thee; and they have awaked sober and returned to themselves: do not you then make nought of my words and cause me to be a reproach among the Indians.
118 And Charisius having thus spoken went to sleep: but she took ten denarii and went secretly to give them to the jailers that she might enter into the apostle. But on the way Yahudah Ta’om came and met her, and she saw him and was afraid, for she thought that he was one of the rulers: for a great light went before him. And she said to herself as she fled: have lost thee, O my unhappy nephesh! for you will not again see Yahudah the apostle of Yahusha the living Elohiym, and not yet have you received the holy seal. And she fled and ran into a narrow place and there hid herself, saying: I would rather choose to be killed by the poorer, whom it is possible to persuade, than to fall into the hand of this mighty ruler, who will despise gifts.
The Tenth Act: Wherein Mygdonia receives baptism.
119 And while Mygdonia thought thus with herself, Yahudah came and stood over her, and she saw him and was afraid, and fell down and became lifeless with terror. But he stood by her and took her by the hand and said unto her: Fear not, Mygdonia: Yahusha will not leave thee, neither will Adonai unto whom you have committed your nephesh overlook thee. His compassionate rest will not forsake thee: he that is kind will not forsake thee, for his kindness’ sake, nor he that is good for his goodness’ sake. Rise up then from the earth, you that are become wholly above it: look on the light, for Adonai leaves not them that love him to walk in darkness: behold him that travels with his servants, that he is unto them a defender in perils.
And Mygdonia arose and looked on him and said: Whither went you, my Adonai? and who is he that brought thee out of prison to behold the sun? Yahudah Ta’om said unto her: My Adonai Yahusha is mightier than all powers and all kings and rulers.
120 And Mygdonia said: Give me the seal of Yahusha HaMashiach and I shall receive the gift at your hands before you depart out of life. And she took him with her and entered into the court and awakened her nurse, saying unto her: Marcia, my mother and nurse, all your service and refreshment you have done for me from my childhood until my present age are vain, and for them I owe thee thanks which are temporal; do for me now also a favor, that you may forever receive a recompense from him that gives great gifts.
And Marcia in answer said: What will you, my daughter Mygdonia, and what is to be done for your pleasure? for the honors which you did promise me before, the stranger has not suffered thee to accomplish, and you have made me a reproach among all the nation. And now what is this new thing which you command me?
And Mygdonia said: Become a partaker with me in eternal life, that I may receive of thee, perfect nurture: take bread and bring it me, and wine mingled with water, and spare my freedom. And the nurse said: I will bring thee many loaves, and for water flagons of wine, and fulfil your desire. But she said to the nurse: Flagons I desire not, nor the many loaves: but this only, bring wine mingled with water and one loaf, and oil.
121 And when Marcia had brought these things, Mygdonia stood before the apostle with her head bare; and he took the oil and poured it on her head, saying: You holy oil given unto us for sanctification, secret mystery whereby the cross was shown unto us, you are the straightener of the crooked limbs, you are the humbler of hard things, you are it that shows the hidden treasures, you are the sprout of goodness; let your power come, let it be established upon your servant Mygdonia, and heal her by this freedom. And when the oil was poured upon her, he bade her nurse unclothe her and gird a linen cloth about her; and there was a fountain of water upon which the apostle went up, and baptized Mygdonia in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach HaQodesh.
And when she was baptized and clad, he broke bread and took a cup of water and made her a partaker in the body of Mashiach and the cup of the Son of Elohiym, and said: You have received your seal, get for yourself eternal life. And immediately there was heard from above a voice saying: Yea, amen. And when Marcia heard that voice, she was amazed, and besought the apostle that she also might receive the seal; and the apostle gave it her and said: Let the care of Adonai be about thee as about the rest.
122 And having done these things the apostle returned unto the prison, and found the doors open and the guards still sleeping. And Ta’om said: Who is like thee, O Elohiym? who withholds not your loving affection and care from any who is like thee, the merciful, who have delivered your creatures out of evil. Life that has subdued death, rest that has ended toil. Glory be to the only begotten of the Father. Glory to the compassion that was sent forth of his heart. And when he had said thus, the guards awoke and beheld all the doors open, and the prisoners asleep, and said in themselves: Did not we fasten the doors? and how are they now open, and the prisoners within?
123 But at the dawn Charisius went unto Mygdonia, and found them praying and saying: O new Elohiym that by the stranger have come hither unto us, hidden Elohiym of the dwellers in India; Elohiym that have shown your glory by your apostle Ta’om, Elohiym whose report we have heard and believed on thee; Elohiym, unto whom we are come to be saved; Elohiym, who for love of man and for pity did come down unto our littleness; Elohiym who did seek us out when we knew him thee not; Elohiym that dwells in the heights and from whom the depths are not hid: turn you away from us the madness of Charisius.
And Charisius hearing that said to Mygdonia: Rightly do you call me evil and mad and foul, for if I had not borne with your disobedience, and given thee liberty, you would not have called on Elohiym against me and made mention of my name before Elohiym. But believe me, Mygdonia, that in that sorcerer there is no profit, and what he promises to perform he cannot: but I will perform before your sight all that I promise, that you may believe, and bear with my words and be to me as you were before time.
124 And he came near and besought her again, saying: If you will be persuaded of me, I shall henceforth have no grief; remember that day when you did meet me first; tell the truth: was I more beautiful unto thee at that time, or Yahusha at this? And Mygdonia said: That time required its own, and this time also; that was the time of the beginning, but this of the end; that was the time of temporal life, this of eternal; that of pleasure that passes away, but this of pleasure that abides forever; that, of day and night, this of day without night. You saw a marriage that was passing, and here, and single but this marriage continues forever; that was a partnership of corruption, but this of eternal life; those groomsmen and maids were men and women of time, but these abide unto the end. That marriage upon earth sets up dropping dew of the love of men. That union was founded upon the earth where there is an unceasing press: this is founded upon the bridge of fire upon which is sprinkled grace: both corrupt; that bride-chamber is taken down again, but this remains always; that bed was strown with coverlets that grow old, but this with love and faith. You are a bridegroom that passes away and are dissolved, but Yahusha is a true bridegroom, enduring forever immortal, that dowry was of money and robes that grow old, but this is of living words which never pass away.
125 And when Charisius heard these things he went unto the king and told him all: and the king commanded Yahudah to be brought, that he might judge him and destroy him. But Charisius said: Have patience a little, O king, and first persuade the man making him afraid, that he may persuade Mygdonia to be unto me as formerly. And Misdaeus sent and fetched the apostle of Mashiach, and all the prisoners were grieved because the apostle departed from them, for they yearned after him, saying: Even the comfort which we had they have taken away from us.
126 And Misdaeus said unto Yahudah: Wherefore teach you this new doctrine, which both elohiym and men hate, and which has nought of profit? And Yahudah said: What evil do I teach? And Misdaeus said: You teach, saying that men cannot live except with the Elohiym whom you preach. Yahudah said: You say true, O king: thus, do I teach. For tell me, are you not wroth with your soldiers if they wait on thee in filthy garments? if then you, being a king of earth and returning unto earth, request your subjects to be reverend in their doings, are you wroth and said you that I teach ill when I say that they who serve my king must be reverend and pure and free from all grief and care of children and unprofitable riches and vain trouble? For indeed you would have your subjects follow your conversation and your manners, and you punish them if they despise your commandments: how much more must they that believe on him serve my Elohiym with much reverence and cleanness and security, and be quit of all pleasures of the body, adultery and prodigality and theft and drunkenness and belly-service and foul deeds?
127 And Misdaeus hearing these things said: Lo, I let thee go: go then and persuade Mygdonia, the wife of Charisius, not to desire to depart from him. Yahudah said unto him: Delay not if you have ought to do for her, if she has rightly received what she has learned, neither iron nor fire nor aught else stronger than these will avail to hurt or to root out him that is held in her nephesh.
Misdaeus said unto Yahudah: Some poisons do dissolve other poisons, and a theriac cures the bites of the viper; and you if you will can give a solvent of those diseases, and make peace and concord betwixt this couple: for by so doing you will spare yourself, for not yet are you sated with life; and know you that if you do not persuade her, I will catch thee away out of this life which is desirable unto all men. And Yahudah said: This life has been given as a loan, and this time is one that changes, but that life whereof I teach is incorruptible; and beauty and youth that are seen shall in a little cease to be. The king said to him: I have counselled thee for the best, but you know your own affairs.
128 And as the apostle went forth from before the king, Charisius came to him and entreated him and said: I beseech thee, O man: I have not sinned against thee or any other at any time, nor against the elohiym; wherefore have you stirred up this great calamity against me? and for what cause have you brought such disturbance upon my house? and what profit have you of it? but if you think to gain somewhat, tell me the gain, what it is, and I will procure it for thee without labor. To what end do you make me mad and cast yourself into destruction? for if you persuade her not, I will both dispatch you and finally take myself out of life. But if, as you sayest, after our departing hence there is life and death, and also condemnation and victory and a place of judgement, then will I also go in thither to be judged with thee: and if that Elohiym whom you preach is just and awards punishment justly, I know that I shall gain my cause against thee; for you have injured me, having suffered no wrong at my hands: for indeed even here I am able to avenge myself on thee and bring upon thee all that you have done unto me. Therefore, be persuaded, and come home with me and persuade Mygdonia to be with me as she was at first, before she beheld thee. And Yahudah said to him: Believe me, my child that if men loved Elohiym as much as they love one another, they would ask of him all things and receive them, and none would do them violence.
129 And as Ta’om said this, they came unto the house of Charisius and found Mygdonia sitting and Marcia standing by her, and her hand supporting her cheek; and she was saying: Let the remainder of the days of my life, O mother, be cut off from me, and all the hours become as one hour, and let me depart out of life that I may go the sooner and behold that beautiful one, whose report I have heard, even that living one and giver of life unto them that believe on him, where is not day and night, nor light and darkness, nor good and evil, nor poor and rich, nor male and female, nor free and bond, nor proud that subjects the humble. And as she spoke the apostle stood by her, and forthwith she rose up and did his reverence. Then Charisius said unto him: See you how she fears and honors thee and all that you shall bid her she will do willingly?
130 And as he so spoke, Yahudah said unto Mygdonia: My daughter Mygdonia, obey that which your brother Charisius said. And Mygdonia said: If you were not able to name the deed in word will you compel me to endure the act? for I have heard of thee that this life is of no profit, and this relief is for a time, and these possessions are transitory. And again, you said that whoso renounces this life shall receive the life eternal, and whoso hates the light of day and night shall behold a light that is not overtaken, that whoso despises this money shall find other and eternal money. But now you say these things because you are in fear. Who is he that is praised for his work and yet changes it? Who builds a tower and straightway overthrows it from the foundation? who digs a spring water in a thirsty land and straightway fills it in? who finds a treasure and uses it not?
And Charisius heard it, and said: I will not imitate you, neither will I hasten to destroy you; nor though I may so do, but thee I will bind; and I will not suffer thee to speak with this sorcerer; and if you obey me, well, but if not, I know what I must do.
131 And Yahudah went out of Charisius’ house and departed unto the house of Siphor and lodged there with him. And Siphor said: I will prepare for Yahudah a hall wherein he may teach. And he did so; and Siphor said: My wife and I and daughter will dwell henceforth in holiness, and in chastity, and in one affection. I beseech thee that we may receive of thee the seal and become worshippers of the true Elohiym and numbered among his sheep and lambs. And Yahudah said: I am afraid to speak that which I think: yet I know somewhat, and what I know it is not possible for me to utter.
132 And he began to say concerning baptism: This baptism is remission of sins: this brings forth again light that is shed about us: this brings to new birth the new man: this is the restorer of understandings: this mingles the ruach (with the body), raises up in threefold wise a new man and makes him partaker of the remission of sins. Glory be to thee, hidden one, that are communicated in baptism. Glory to thee the unseen power that is in baptism. Glory to thee, renewal, whereby are renewed they that are baptized and with affection take hold upon thee.
And having thus said, he poured oil over their heads and said: Glory be to thee the love of compassion. Glory to thee, name of Mashiach. Glory to thee, power established in Mashiach. And he commanded a vessel to be brought and baptized them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach HaQodesh.
133 And when they were baptized and clad, he set bread on the table and blessed it, and said: Bread of life, those who eat thereof will abide incorruptible: Bread that fills the hungry nephesh with the blessing thereof: you are he that vouchsafes to receive a gift, that you may become unto us remission of sins, and that they who eat thee may become immortal: we invoke upon thee the name of the Mother, of the unspeakable mystery of the hidden powers and authorities; we name the name of the unspeakable mystery, that is hidden from all: we invoke upon thee the name of your Yahusha. And he said: Let the powers of blessing come, and be established in this bread, that all the nephesh which partake of it may be washed from their sins. And he broke and gave unto Siphor and his wife and daughter.
The Eleventh Act: Concerning the wife of Misdaeus.
134 Now Misdaeus the king, when he had let Yahudah go, dined and went home, and told his wife what had befallen Charisius their kinsman, saying: See what has come to pass to that unhappy man, and you yourself know, my sister Tertia, that a man has nought better than his own wife on whom he rests; but it chanced that his wife went unto that sorcerer of whom you have heard that he is come to the land of the Indians, and fell into his charms and is parted from her own husband; and he knows not what he should do. And when I would have destroyed the malefactor, he would not have it. But do you go and counsel her to incline unto her husband and forsake the vain words of the sorcerer.
135 And as soon as she arose Tertia went to the house of Charisius her husband’s kinsman, and found Mygdonia lying upon the earth in humiliation, and ashes and sackcloth were spread under her, and she was praying that Adonai would forgive her of her former sins and that she might soon depart out of life. And Tertia said unto her: Mygdonia, my dear sister and companion what is this folly? what is the disease that has overtaken thee? and why do you the deeds of madmen? Know yourself and come back unto your own way, come near unto your many kinsfolks, and spare your true husband Charisius, and do not things unbefitting a freewoman.
Mygdonia said unto her: O Tertia, you have not yet heard the preacher of life: not yet has he touched your ears, not yet have you tasted the medicine of life nor are freed from corruptible mourning. You stand in the life of time, and the everlasting life and salvation you know not, and perceive not the incorruptible fellowship. You stand clad in robes that grow old and desire not those that are eternal, and are proud of this beauty which vanishes and have no thought of the holiness of your nephesh; and are rich in a multitude of servants, and have not freed your own nephesh from servitude, and pride yourself in the glory that cometh of many, but redeem not yourself from the condemnation of death.
136 And when Tertia heard this of Mygdonia she said: I pray thee, sister, bring me unto that stranger that teaches these great things, that I also may go and hear him, and be taught to worship the Elohiym whom he preached, and become partaker of his prayers, and a sharer in all that you have told me of.
And Mygdonia said to her: He is in the house of Siphor the captain; for he is become the occasion of life unto all of them that are being saved in India.
And hearing that, Tertia went quickly to Siphor’s house, that she might see the new apostle that was come thither. And when she entered in, Yahudah said unto her: What are you coming to see? a man that is a stranger and poor and contemptible and needy, having neither riches nor substance; yet one thing I possess which neither kings nor rulers can take away, that neither perishes nor ceases, which is Yahusha the Savior of all mankind, the Son of the living Elohiym, who has given life unto all that believe on him and take refuge with him and are known to be of the number of his servants. Unto whom said Tertia: May I become a partaker of this life which you promise that all they shall receive who come together unto the assembly of Elohiym.
And the apostle said: The treasury of the holy king is opened wide, and they which worthily partake of the good things that are therein do rest, and resting do reign: but first, no man comes unto him that is unclean and vile: for he knows our inmost hearts and the depths of our thought, and it is not possible for any to escape him. You, then, if verily you believe in him, shall be made worthy of his mysteries; and he will magnify thee and enrich thee, and make thee to be an heir of his kingdom.
137 And Tertia, having heard this, returned home rejoicing, and found her husband awaiting her, not having dined, and when Misdaeus saw her he said: Whence is it that your entering in today is more beautiful? and wherefore are you come walking, which beseems not freeborn women like thee? And Tertia said unto him: I owe thee the greatest of thanks for that you did send me unto Mygdonia, for I went and heard of a new life, and I saw the new apostle of the Elohiym that giveth life unto them that believe on him and fulfil his commandments; I ought therefore myself to recompense thee for this favor and admonition with good advice; for you shall be a great king in heaven if you obey me and fear the Elohiym that is preached by the stranger, and keep yourself holy unto the living Elohiym. For this kingdom passes away, and your comfort will be turned into affliction: but go you to that man, and believe him, and you shall live unto the end. And when Misdaeus heard these things of his wife, he smote his face with his hands and rent his clothes and said: May the nephesh of Charisius find no rest, for he has hurt me to the nephesh; and may he have no hope, for he has taken away my hope. And he went out greatly vexed.
138 And he found Charisius his friend in the marketplace, and said unto him: Why have you cast me into hell to be another companion to yourself? why have you emptied and defrauded me to gain nought? why have you hurt me and profited yourself not at all? why have you slain me and you yourself not lived? Why have you wronged me and you yourself not received justice? why did you not suffer me to destroy that sorcerer before he corrupted my house with his wickedness?
And he kept hold upon Charisius, and Charisius said: Why, what has befallen thee?
Misdaeus said: He has bewitched Tertia.
And they went both of them unto the house of Siphor the captain and found Yahudah sitting and teaching. And all they that were there rose up before the king, but he arose not. And Misdaeus perceived that it was he, and took hold of the seat and overset it, and took up the seat with both his hands and smote his head so that he wounded it, and delivered him to his soldiers, saying: Take him away, and hale him with violence and not gently, that his shame may be manifest unto all men. And they hailed him and took him to the place where Misdaeus judged, and he stood there, held of the soldiers of Misdaeus.
The Twelfth Act: Concerning Iuzanes the son of Misdaeus.
139 And Iuzanes the son of Misdaeus came unto the soldiers and said: Give me him that I may speak with him until the king comes. And they gave him up, and he brought him in where the king gave judgement. And Iuzanes said: Know you not that I am the son of Misdaeus the king, and I have power to say unto the king what I will, and he will suffer thee to live? tell me then, who is your Elohiym, and what power do you claim and glory in it? for if it be some power or are of magic, tell it to me and teach me, and I will let thee go.
Yahudah said unto him: You are the son of Misdacus the king who is king for a time, but I am the servant of Yahusha HaMashiach the eternal king, and you have power to say to your father to save whom you will in the temporal life wherein men continue not, which you and your father grant, but I beseech my Adonai and intercede for men, and he gives them a new life which is altogether enduring. And you boast yourself of possessions and servants and robes and luxury and unclean chamberings, but I boast myself of poverty and philosophy and humility and lasting and prayer and the fellowship of the Ruach HaQodesh and of my brethren that are worthy of Elohiym: and I boast myself of eternal life. And you rely upon a man like unto yourself and not able to save his own nephesh from judgement and death, but I rely upon the living Elohiym, upon the Savior of kings and princes, who is the judge of all men. And you indeed today perchance are, and tomorrow are no more, but I have taken refuge with him that abides forever and knows all our seasons and times. And if you will become the servant of this Elohiym you shall soon do so; but show that you will be a servant worthy of him hereby: first by holiness, which is the head of all good things, and then by fellowship with this Elohiym whom I preach, and philosophy and simplicity and love and faith and good hope in him, and unity of pure food.
140 And the young man was persuaded by Adonai and sought occasion how he might let Yahudah escape: but while he thought thereon, the king came, and the soldiers took Yahudah and led him forth. And Iuzanes went forth with him and stood beside him. And when the king was set, he bade Yahudah be brought in, with his hands bound behind him; and he was brought into the midst and stood there. And the king said: Tell me who you are and by what power you do these things.
And Yahudah said to him: I am a man like thee, and by the power of Yahusha HaMashiach I do these things.
And Misdaeus said: Tell me the truth before I destroy thee.
And Yahudah said: You have no power against me, as you suppose, and you will not hurt me at all. And the king was wroth at his words and commanded to heat iron plates and set him upon them barefoot; and as the soldiers took off his shoes he said: The wisdom of Elohiym is better than the wisdom of men. You Adonai and King, do you take counsel against them, and let your goodness resist his wrath. And they brought the plates which were like fire, and set the apostle upon them, and straightway water sprang up abundantly from the earth, so that the plates were swallowed up in it, and they that held him let him go and withdrew themselves.
141 And the king, seeing the abundance of water, said to Yahudah: Ask your Elohiym that he deliver me from this death, that I perish not in the flood.
And the apostle prayed and said: You that did bind this element and gather it into one place and send it forth into divers lands; that did bring disorder into order, that grants mighty works and great wonders by the hands of Yahudah your servant; that have mercy on my nephesh, that I may always receive your brightness; that gives wages unto them that have labored; you Savior of my nephesh, restoring it unto its own nature that it may have no fellowship with hurtful things; that have always been the occasion of life: do you restrain this element that it lift not up itself to destroy; for there are some of them that stand here who shall believe on thee and live. And when he had prayed, the water was swallowed up by little and little, and the place became dry. And when Misdaeus saw it, he commanded him to be taken to the prison: Until I shall consider how he must be used.
142 And as Yahudah was led away to the prison they all followed him, and Iuzanes the king’s son walked at his right hand, and Siphor at the left. And he entered into the prison and sat down, and Iuzanes and Siphor, and he persuaded his wife and his daughter to sit down, for they also came in to hear the word of life. For they knew that Misdaeus would slay him because of the excess of his anger.
And Yahudah began to say: O liberator of my nephesh from the bondage of the many, because I gave myself to be sold; behold, I rejoice and exult, knowing that the times are fulfilled for me to enter in and receive thee of my rest, giver. Lo, I am to be set free from the cares that are on the earth; lo, I fulfil my hope and receive truth; lo, I am set free from sorrow and put on joy alone; lo, I become careless and griefless and dwell in rest; lo, I am set free from bondage and am called unto liberty; lo, I have served times and seasons, and I am lifted up above times and seasons; lo, I receive my wages from my recompense, who gives without reckoning because his wealth suffices for the gift; lo, and my raiment, I take it off, and I shall not put it on again; lo, I sleep and awake, and I shall no more go to sleep; lo, I die and live again, and I shall no more taste of death; lo, they rejoice and expect me, that I may come and be with their kindred and be set as a flower in their crown; lo, I reign in the kingdom whereon I set my hope, even from hence; lo, the rebellious fall before me, for I have escaped them; lo, unto me the peace has come, whereunto all are gathered.
143 And as the apostle spoke thus, all that were there hearkened, supposing that in that hour he would depart out of life. And again, he said: Believe on the physician of all diseases, both seen and unseen, and on the Savior of the nephesh that need help from him. This is the free born Son of kings, this the physician of his creatures; this is he that was reproached of his own slaves; this is the Father of nature and Adonai of the height and supreme Judge: he came of the greatest, the only-begotten son of the deep; and he was called the son of Mariyam the virgin, and was termed the son of Yoceph the carpenter: he whose littleness we beheld with the eyes of our body, but his greatness we received by faith, and saw it in his works whose human body we felt also with our hands, and his aspect we saw transfigured with our eyes, but his heavenly semblance on the mount we were not able to see: he that made the rulers stumble and did violence unto death: he, the truth that lies not, that at the last paid the tribute for himself and his Talmidiym: whom the prince beholding feared and the powers that were with him were troubled; and the prince bare witness, asking him who he was and from whence, and knew not the truth, because he is alien from truth: he that having authority over the world, and the pleasures therein, and the possessions and the comfort, rejected all these things and turned away his subjects, that they should not use them.
144 And having fulfilled these sayings, he arose and prayed thus: our Father, which are in heaven: hallowed be your name: Your kingdom come: Your will be done, as in heaven so upon earth: Give of the day, bread constant us, and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
My Adonai and Elohiym, hope and confidence and teacher, you have taught me to pray thus, behold, I pray this prayer and fulfil your commandment: be you with me unto the end; you are he that from childhood have sown life in me and kept me from corruption; you are he that have brought me unto the poverty of this world, and exhorted me unto the true riches; you are he that have made me known unto myself and showed me that I am yours; and I have kept myself pure from woman, so that which you require be not found in defilement.
144 My Adonai and Elohiym, my hope and my confidence and my teacher, that have implanted courage in me, you did teach me to pray thus. Behold, I pray your prayer and bring your will to fulfilment, be you with me unto the end. You are he that from my youth up did give me patience in temptation and sow in me, life, and preserve me from corruption; you are he that did bring me into the poverty of this world and fill me with the true riches; you are he that did show me that I was yours: wherefore I was never joined unto a wife, that the temple worthy of thee might not be found in pollution.
145 My mouth suffices not to praise thee, neither am I able to conceive the care and providence which has been about me from thee which you have had for me. For I desired to gain riches, but you by a vision did show me that they are full of loss and injury to them that gain them, and I believed your showing, and continued in the poverty of the world until you, the true riches were revealed unto me, who did fill both me and the rest that were worthy of thee with your own riches and set free your own from care and anxiety. I have therefore fulfilled your commandments, O Adonai, and accomplished your will, and become poor and needy and a stranger and a bondman and set at nought and a prisoner and hungry and thirsty and naked and unshod, and I have toiled for your sake, that my confidence might not perish and my hope that is in thee might not be confounded and my much labor might not be in vain and my weariness not be counted for nought: let not my prayers and my continual fasting perish, and my great zeal toward thee; let not my seed of wheat be changed for tares out of your land. Let not the enemy carry it away and mingle his own tares therewith; for your land verily receives not his tares, neither indeed can they be laid up in your houses.
146 I have planted your vine in the earth, it has sent down its roots into the depth and its growth is spread out in the height, and the fruits of it are stretched forth upon the earth, and they that are worthy of thee are made glad by them, whom also you have gained. The money which you have from me I laid down upon the table; this, when you require it, restore unto me with usury, as you have promised. With your one mind have I traded and have made ten, you have added more to me beside that I had, as you did covenant. I have forgiven my debtor the my, require you it not at my hands. I was bidden to the supper, and I came: and I refused the land and the yoke of oxen and the wife, that I might not for their sake be rejected; I was bidden to the wedding, and I put on white raiment, that I might be worthy of it and not be bound hand and foot and cast into the outer darkness. My lamp with its bright light expects the master coming from the marriage, that it may receive him, and I may not see it dimmed because the oil is spent. My eyes, O Mashiach, look upon thee, and my heart exults with joy because I have fulfilled your will and perfected your commandments; that I may be likened unto that watchful and careful servant who in his eagerness neglects not to keep vigil. I have not slumbered idly in keeping your commandments: in the first sleep and at midnight and at cockcrow, that my eyes may behold thee. All the night I have labored to keep my house from robbers, lest it be broken through.
147 My loins have I girt close with truth and bound my shoes on my feet, that I may never see them gaping: my hands have I put unto the yoked plough and have not turned away backward, lest my furrows go crooked. The plough-land is become white, and the harvest is come, that I may receive my wages. My garment that grows old I have worn out, and the labor that has brought me unto rest have I accomplished. I have kept the first watch and the second and the third, that I may behold your face and adore your holy brightness. I have rooted out the worst, pulled down my barns, and left them desolate upon earth, that I may be filled full of your treasures. All my substance have I sold, that I may gain thee the pearl. The moist spring that was in me have I dried up, that I may live and rest beside your inexhaustible living spring. The captive whom you committed to me I have slain, that he which is set free in me may not fall from his confidence. Him that was inward have I made outward and the outward inward, and all your fullness has been fulfilled in me. I have not returned unto the things that are behind but have gone forward unto the things that are before, that I become not a reproach. The dead man have I quickened, and the living one have I overcome, and that which was lacking have I filled up, that I may receive the crown of victory, and the power of Mashiach may be accomplished in me. I have received reproach upon earth but give you me the return and the recompense in the heavens.
148 Let not the powers and the officers perceive me, and let them not have any thought concerning me; let not the publicans and exactors ply their calling upon me; let not the weak and the evil cry out against me that am valiant and humble, and when I am borne upward let them not rise up to stand before me, by your power, O Yahusha, which surrounds me as a crown: for they do flee and hide themselves, they cannot look on thee: but suddenly do they fall upon them that are subject to them, and the portion of tile sons of the evil one does itself cry out and convict them; and it is not hid from them, nor their nature is made known: the children of the evil one are separated off. Do you then grant me, Adonai, that I may pass by in quietness and joy and peace, and pass over and stand before the judge, and let not the devil look upon me; let his eyes be blinded by your light which you have made to dwell in me, muzzle his mouth: for he has found nought against me.
149 And he said again unto them that were about him: Believe, of Elohiym, whom Mashiach Yahusha proclaim, children. Believe in the Savior of them that have labored in his service: for my nephesh already flourishes because my time is near to receive him; for he being beautiful draws me on always to speak concerning his beauty, what it is though I cannot and suffice not to speak it worthily: you that are the light of my poverty and the supplier of my defects and nurturer of my need: be you with me until I come and receive thee for evermore.
The Thirteenth Act: Wherein Iuzanes receives baptism with the rest.
150 And Iuzanes the youth besought the apostle, saying: I pray thee, O man, apostle of Elohiym, suffer me to go, and I will persuade the jailer to permit thee to come home with me, that by thee I may receive the seal, and become your minister and a keeper of the commandments of the Elohiym whom you preach. For indeed, formerly, I walked in those things which you teach, until my father compelled me and joined me unto a wife by name Mnesara; for I am in my one-and-twentieth year, and have now been seven years married, and before I was joined in marriage I knew no other woman, wherefore also I was accounted useless of my father, nor have I ever had son or daughter of this wife and also my wife herself has lived with me in chastity all this time, and today, if she had been in health, and had listened to thee, I know well that both I should have been at rest and she would have received eternal life; but she is in peril and afflicted with much illness; I will therefore persuade the keeper that he promise to come with me, for I live by myself: and you shall also heal that unhappy one. And Yahudah the apostle of the Most High, hearing this, said to Iuzanes: If you believe, you shall see the marvels of Elohiym, and how he sayeth his servants.
151 And as they spoke thus together, Tertia and Mvgdonia and Marcia stood at the door of the prison, and they gave the jailer three hundred sixty-three staters of silver and entered in to Yahudah; and found Iuzanes and Siphor and his wife and daughter, and all the prisoners sitting and hearing the word. And when they stood by him, he said to them: Who has suffered you to come unto us? and who opened unto you the sealed door that you came forth? Tertia said unto him: Did not you open the door for us and tell us to come into the prison that we might take our brethren that were there, and then should Adonai show forth his glory in us? And when we came near the door, I know not how, you parted from us and hid yourself and came hither before us where we also heard the noise of the door, when you did shut us out. We gave money therefore to the keepers and came in and lo, we are here praying thee that we may persuade thee and let thee escape until the king’s wrath against thee shall cease. Unto whom Yahudah said: Tell us first of all how you were shut up.
152 And she said to him: You were with us, and never left us for one hour, and asked you how we were shut up? but if you desire to hear, hear. The king Misdaeus sent for me and said unto me: Not yet has that sorcerer prevailed over thee, for, as I hear, he bewitches men with oil and water and bread, and has not yet bewitched thee; but obey you me, for if not, I will imprison thee and wear thee out, and him I will destroy; for I know that if he has not yet given thee oil and water and bread, he has not prevailed to get power over thee. And I said unto him: Over my body you have authority and do you all that you will; but my nephesh I will not let perish with thee. And hearing that he shut me up in a chamber beneath his dining-hall: and Charisius brought Mygdonia and shut her up with me: and you brought us out and did bring us even hither; but give you us the seal quickly, that the hope of Misdacus who counsels thus may be cut off.
153 And when the apostle heard this, he said: Glory be to thee, O Yahusha of many forms, glory to thee that appears in the guise of our poor manhood: glory to thee that encourages us and makes us strong and gives grace and consoles and stands by us in all perils and strengthens our weakness. And as he thus spoke, the jailer came and said: Put out the lamps, lest any accuse you unto the king. And then they extinguished the lamps and turned to sleep; but the apostle spoke unto Adonai: It is the time now, O Yahusha, for thee to make haste; for, lo the children of darkness sit in their own darkness, do you therefore enlighten us with the light of your nature. And on a sudden the whole prison was light as the day: and while all they that were in the prison slept a deep sleep, they only that had believed in Adonai continued waking.
154 Yahudah therefore said to Iuzanes: Go you before and make ready the things for our needs. Iuzanes therefore said: And who will open the doors of the prison? for the jailers shut them and are fast sleep. And Yahudah said: Believe in Yahusha, and you shall find the doors open. And when he went forth and departed from them, all the rest followed after him. And as Iuzanes was gone on before, Mnesara his wife met him coming unto the prison. And she knew him and said: My brother Iuzanes, is it you? and he said, Yea, and are you Mnesara? and she said Yea. Iuzanes said unto her; Whither walk thou, especially at so untimely an hour? and how were you able to rise up? And she said: This youth laid his hand on me and raised me up, and in a dream, I say that I should go where the stranger sits and become perfectly whole. Iuzanes said to her: What youth is with thee? And she said: See you not him that is on my right hand, leading me by the hand?
155 And while they spoke together thus, Yahudah, with Siphor and his wife and daughter and Tertia and Mygdonia and Marcia came unto Iuzanes’ house. And Mnesara the wife of Iuzanes seeing him did reverence and said: Are you come that save us from the sore disease? you are he whom I saw in the night delivering unto me this youth to bring me to the prison. But your goodness suffered me not to grow weary, but you yourself are come unto me. And so, saying she turned about and saw the youth no more; and finding him not, she said to the apostle: I am not able to walk alone: for the youth whom you gave me is not here. And Yahudah said: Yahusha will henceforth lead thee. And thereafter she came running unto him. And when they entered into the house of Iuzanes the son of Misdaeus the king, though it was yet night, a great light shined and was shed about them.
156 And then Yahudah began to pray and to speak thus: O companion and defender and hope of the weak and confidence of the poor: refuge and lodging of the weary: voice that came forth of the height: comforter dwelling in the midst: port and harbor of them that pass through the regions of the rulers: physician that heals without payment: who among men were crucified for many: who did go down into hell with great might: the sight of whom the princes of death endured not; and you came up with great glory, and gathering all them that fled unto thee did prepare a way, and in your footsteps all they journeyed whom you did redeem; and you brought them into your own fold and did join them with your sheep: son of mercy, the son that for love of man were sent unto us from the perfect country that is above, Adonai of all undefiled possessions: that serves your servants that they may live: that fills creation with your own riches: the poor, that were in need and did hunger forty days: that satisfies thirsty nephesh with your own good things; be you with Iuzanes the son of Misdaeus and with Tertia and Mnesara, and gather them into your fold and mingle them with your number; Be unto them a guide in the land of error: be unto them a physician in the land of sickness: be unto them a rest in the land of the weary: sanctify them in a polluted land: be their physician both of bodies and nephesh: make them holy temples of thee, and let your holy ruach dwell in them.
157 Having thus prayed over them, the apostle said unto Mygdonia: Unclothe your sisters. And she took off their clothes and girded them with girdles and brought them: but Iuzanes had first gone before, and they came after him; and the apostle took oil in a cup of silver and spoke thus over it: Fruit more beautiful than all other fruits, unto which none other whatsoever may be compared: altogether merciful: fervent with the force of the word: power of the tree which men putting upon them overcome their adversaries: crowner of the conquerors: help and joy of the sick: that did announce unto men their salvation that showed light to them that are in darkness; whose leaf is bitter, but in your most sweet fruit you are fair, that are rough to the sight but soft to the taste; seeming to be weak, but in the greatness of your strength able to bear the power that beholds all things. Having thus said: Yahusha: let his victorious might come and be established in this oil, like as it was established in the tree that was its kin, even his might at that time, whereof they that crucified thee could not endure the word: let the gift also come whereby breathing upon your enemies you did cause them to go backward and fall headlong and let it rest on this oil, whereupon we invoke your holy name. And having thus said, he poured it first upon the head of Iuzanes and then upon the women’s heads, saying: In your name, O Yahusha HaMashiach, let it be unto these nephesh for remission of sins and for turning back of the adversary and for salvation of their nephesh. And he commanded Mygdonia to anoint them but he himself anointed Iuzanes. And having anointed them he led them down into the water in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach HaQodesh.
158 And when they were come up, he took bread and a cup, and blessed it and said: Your holy body which was crucified for us do we eat, and your blood that was shed for us unto salvation do we drink; let therefore your body be unto us salvation and your blood for remission of sins. And for the gall which you did drink for our sakes let the gall of the devil be removed from us: and for the vinegar which you have drunk for us, let our weakness be made strong: and for the spitting which you did receive for us, let us receive the dew of your goodness: and by the reed wherewith they smote thee for us, let us receive the perfect house: and whereas you received a crown of thorns for our sake, let us that have loved thee put on a crown that fades not away; and for the linen cloth wherein you were wrapped, let us also be girt about with your power that is not vanquished and for the new tomb and the burial let us receive renewing of nephesh and body: and for that you did rise up and revive, let us revive and live and stand before thee in righteous judgement. And he broke and gave the eucharist unto Iuzanes and Tertia and Mnesara and the wife and daughter of Siphor and said: Let this eucharist be unto you for salvation and joy and health of your nephesh. And they said: Amen. And a voice was heard, saying: Amen: fear you not, but only believe.
159 And after these things Yahudah departed to be imprisoned.
And Tertia with Mygdonia and Marcia also went to be imprisoned. And the apostle Ta’om said unto them, the multitude of them that had believed being present: Daughters and sisters and fellow-servants which have believed in my Adonai and Elohiym, ministers of my Yahusha, hearken to me this day: for I do deliver my word unto you, and I shall no more speak with you in this flesh nor in this world; for I go up unto my Adonai and Elohiym Yahusha HaMashiach, unto him that sold me, unto that Adonai that humbled himself even unto me the little, and brought me up unto eternal greatness, that vouchsafed to me to become his servant in truth and steadfastness: unto him do I depart, knowing that the time is fulfilled, and the day appointed has drawn near for me to go and receive my recompense from my Adonai and Elohiym: for my recompenser is righteous, who knows me, how I ought to receive my reward; for he is not grudging nor envious, but is rich in his gifts, he is not a lover of craft in that he gives, for he has confidence in his possessions which cannot fail.
160 I am not Yahusha, but I am his servant: I am not Mashiach, but I am his minister; I am not the Son of Elohiym, but I pray to become worthy of Elohiym. Continue you in the faith of Mashiach: continue in the hope of the Son of Elohiym: faint not at affliction, neither be divided in mind if you see me mocked or that I am shut up in prison; for I do accomplish his will. For if I had willed not to die, I know in Mashiach that I am able thereto: but this which is called death, is not death, but a setting free from the body; wherefore I receive gladly this setting free from the body, that I may depart and see him that is beautiful and full of mercy, him that is to be loved: for I have endured much toil in his service, and have labored for his grace that is come upon me, which departs not from me. Let not Satan, then, enter you by stealth and catch away your thoughts: let there be in you no place for him: for he is mighty whom you have received. Look for the coming of Mashiach, for he shall come and receive you, and this is he whom you shall see when he comes.
161 When the apostle had ended these sayings, they went into the house, and the apostle Ta’om said: Savior that did suffer many things for us, let these doors be as they were and let seals be set on them. And he left them and went to be imprisoned: and they wept and were in heaviness, for they knew that Misdaeus would slay him.
162 And the apostle found the keepers wrangling and saying: Wherein have we sinned against this wizard? for by his magic he has opened the doors and would have had all the prisoners escape: but let us go and report it unto the king and tell him concerning his wife and his son. And as they disputed thus, Ta’om held his peace. They rose up early, therefore, and went unto the king and said unto him: Our Adonai and king, do you take away that sorcerer and cause him to be shut up elsewhere, for we are not able to keep him; for except your good fortune had kept the prison, all the condemned persons would have escaped. For now, this second time, have we found the doors open: and also, your wife, O king, and your son and the rest depart not from him. And the king, hearing that, went, and found the seals that were set on the doors whole; and he took note of the doors also, and said to the keepers: Wherefore lie you? for the seals are whole. How did you tell him that Tertia and Mygdonia came unto him into the prison? And the keepers said: We have told thee the truth.
163 And Misdaeus went to the prison and took his seat, and sent for the apostle Ta’om and stripped him, and girded him with a girdle, and set him before him and said unto him: Are you bond or free? Ta’om said: I am the bondsman of one only, over whom you have no authority. And Misdaeus said to him: How did you run away and come into this country? And Ta’om said: I was sold hither by my master, that I might save many, and by your hands depart out of this world. And Misdaeus said: Who is your Adonai? and what is his name? and of what country is he?
And Ta’om said: My Adonai is your master, and he is Adonai of heaven and earth. And Misdaeus said: What is his name? Ta’om said: You cannot hear his true name at this time: but the name that was given unto him is Yahusha HaMashiach. And Misdaeus said unto him: I have not made haste to destroy thee but have had long patience with thee: but you have added unto your evil deeds, and your sorceries are dispersed abroad and heard of throughout all the country: but this I do that your sorceries may depart with thee, and our land be cleansed from them. Ta’om said unto him; These sorceries depart not with me when I set forth hence, and know you this, that I shall never forsake them that are here.
164 When the apostle had said these things, Misdaeus considered how he should put him to death; for he was afraid because of the many people that were subject unto him, for many also of the nobles and of them that were in authority believed on him. He took him therefore and went forth out of the city; and armed soldiers also went with him. And the people supposed that the king desired to learn somewhat of him, and they stood still and gave heed. And when they had walked one mile, he delivered him unto four soldiers and an officer, and commanded them to take him into the mountain, piercing him with spears and putting an end to him there, returning once again to the city. And saying thus unto the soldiers, he himself also returned unto the city.
165 But the men ran after Ta’om, desiring to deliver him from death. And two soldiers went at the right hand of the apostle and two on his left, holding spears, and the officer held his hand and supported him. And the apostle Ta’om said: O the hidden mysteries which even until our departure are accomplished in us! O riches of his glory, who will not suffer us to be swallowed up in this passion of the body! Four are they that cast me down, for of four am I made; and one is he that draws me, for of one I am, and unto him I go. And this I now understand. that my Adonai and Elohiym Yahusha HaMashiach. being of one was pierced by one, but I, which am of four, am pierced by four.
166 And being come up into the mountain unto the place where he was to be slain, he said unto them that held him, and to the rest: Brethren, hearken unto me now at the last; for I am come to my departure out of the body. Let not then the eyes of your heart be blinded, nor your ears be made deaf. Believe on the Elohiym whom I preach and be not guides unto yourselves in the hardness of your heart, but walk in all your liberty, and in the glory that is toward men, and the life that is toward Elohiym.
167 And he said unto Iuzanes: You son of the earthly king Misdaeus and minister to the minister of our Adonai Yahusha HaMashiach: give unto the servants of Misdaeus their price that they may suffer me to go and pray. And Iuzanes persuaded the soldiers to let him pray. And the blessed Ta’om went to pray, and kneeled down, and rose up and stretched forth his hands unto heaven, and spoke thus:
My Adonai and my Elohiym, and hope and redeemer and leader and guide in all countries, be you with all of them that serve thee, and guide me this day as I come unto thee. Let no one take my nephesh which I have committed unto thee: let not the publicans see me and let not the exactors accuse me falsely. Let not the serpent see me and let not the children of the dragon hiss at me. Behold, Adonai, I have accomplished your work and perfected your commandment. I have become a bondman; therefore, today I receive freedom. Do you therefore give me this and perfect me: and this I say, not for that I doubt, but that they may hear for whom it is needful to hear.
168 And when he had thus prayed, he said unto the soldiers: Come hither and accomplish the commandments of him that sent you. And the four came and pierced him with their spears, and he fell down and died. And all the brethren wept; and they brought beautiful robes and fair linen and buried him in a royal sepulcher wherein the former first kings were laid.
169 But Siphor and Iuzanes would not go down to the city but continued sitting by him all the day. And the apostle Ta’om appeared unto them and said: Why sit you here and keep watch over me? I am not here, but I have gone up and received all that I was promised. But rise up and go down hence, for after a little time you also shall be gathered unto me.
But Misdaeus and Charisius took away Mygdonia and Tertia and afflicted them sorely: howbeit they consented not unto their will. And the apostle appeared unto them and said: Be not deceived: Yahusha the holy, the living one, shall quickly send help unto you. And Misdaeus and Charisius, when they perceived that Mygdonia and Tertia obeyed them not, suffered them to live according to their own desire.
And the brethren gathered together and rejoiced in the grace of the Ruach HaQodesh: now the apostle Ta’om when he departed out of the world made Siphor a presbyter and Iuzanes a deacon, when he went up into the mountain to die. And Adonai wrought with them, and many were added unto the faith.
170 Now it came to pass after a long time that one of the children of Misdaeus the king was smitten by a devil, and no man could cure him, for the devil was exceeding fierce. And Misdaeus the king took thought and said: I will go and open the sepulcher and take a bone of the apostle of Elohiym and hang it upon my son and he shall be healed. But while Misdaeus thought upon this, the apostle Ta’om appeared to him and said unto him: You believed not on a living man, and will you believe on the dead? yet fear not, for my Adonai Yahusha HaMashiach has compassion on thee and pities thee of his goodness.
And he went and opened the sepulcher, but found not the apostle there, for one of the brethren had stolen him away and taken him unto Mesopotamia; but from that place where the bones of the apostle had lain Misdaeus took dust and put it about his son’s neck, saying: I believe on thee, Yahusha HaMashiach, now that he has left me which troubles men and opposes them lest they should see thee. And when he had hung it upon his son, the lad became whole.
Misdaeus the king therefore was also gathered among the brethren and bowed his head under the hands of Siphor the priest; and Siphor said unto the brethren: Pray you for Misdaeus the king, that he may obtain mercy of Yahusha HaMashiach, and that he may no longer remember evil against him. They all therefore, with one accord rejoicing, made prayer for him; and Adonai that loveth men, the King of Kings and Adonai of Adonais, granted Misdaeus also to have hope in him; and he was gathered with the multitude of them that had believed in Mashiach, glorifying the Father and the Son and the Ruach HaQodesh, whose is power and adoration, now and forever and world without end. Amen.