Three Days in the Temple

Repeated request of the Jesus-Boy to have His preliminary question answered about Isaiah IX: 5,6. The objection of the acrimonious priest and the vigorous answer of the Boy-Jesus.

[4.1] I said: “Oh yes, this very good explanation of yours I knew long ago, and so you might have spared yourself the trouble of telling Me all that. Therefore I maintain my point, and shall not remove My attention from the virgin Mary.

[4.2] Why did the prophet say (Isaiah IX: 5,6): ‘Unto us a Child is born, a Son is given us, the government shall be upon His shoulder; and He is called Wonderful, Counselor, Strength, Hero, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace; that His government shall be great, and there shall be no end to the Peace on the Throne of David and in His kingdom, that He prepare, complete, and strengthen it with justice and righteousness from now and to eternity! Such will the Zeal of the Lord Zebaoth accomplish!

[4.3] What Child is this and what Son is this Who is given to us? Would not this be, after all, the Boy born in a stable at Bethlehem? For it is also said: ‘At Bethlehem, in a stable, shall be born a King unto the Jews. He will found a new empire of which there shall be no end unto Eternity!’ How do you, Kabbalist, understand all this?”

[4.4] Confused they all looked at each other and said: “Whence has this boy been able to gain such a knowledge of the Scriptures? There are altogether at most very few copies, and of these hardly ten are perfect; and as to these, we know where they are and no layman can get to them. The Samaritans do indeed possess an eleventh, but it is quite false, and contains a number of additions which are purely oriental fiction.”

[4.5] Hereupon an acrimonious speaker asked Me: “Now you tell me what I am going to ask you: Whence, and how long have you gained so perfect a knowledge of the Scriptures and especially of the prophets?”

[4.6] I said: “You have as little right to question Me as I have to ask you how it comes about that you, as a priest, have not made the Scriptures your own, neither in word and much less in deed! Give Me an answer to that for which I ask, and for which you have been paid! All else matters little, or not at all, to you; for it has cost you nothing, neither pain, nor time, not the very least trouble, nor any sacrifice whatever.

[4.7] Moreover it does no special honour to your teaching-office here in Jerusalem, if the obvious learning of a boy from Galilee causes you so much astonishment; for thereby you only show that your boys here stand but little above the animal kingdom in their education!”

[4.8] On this rather strongly direct remark of Mine, the Roman commissioner began to laugh aloud, and Simon also could not refrain from laughing. But the acrimonious speaker stepped aside and sat down quite sullen on a bench in the background.

[4.9] Thereupon a chief of the Synagogue of Bethlehem who was also present in the Temple at the examination of the boys, said: “Well, I see that I shall have to devise means, or else we shall never come to an end with this boy! He has now a purchased right to ask us questions for a whole week; we must answer him whether we like it or not! If he already gives us so much trouble with his first question, we had better prepare ourselves at once for his inquiries and capital questions!

[4.10] Intelligence he has in abundance and natural wit also, and we shall not get the better of him if we do not want what he wants. He just insists on having a true statement of affairs about the birth of a little boy twelve years ago in a cattle shed near Bethlehem, and this I can procure for him, as I was already then, and am still today, the head of the synagogue there.”

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