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Chapter 19


The gates of Zion are opened on third day – Soldiers enter the empty city – Treasures on the temple steps – Yasher-Baal rebukes Penuel – Soldiers search for nine days – The spirit of Azotus appears to Yasher-Baal – The wisdom of Azotus – Yasher-Baal tries to kill Azotus again – Yasher-Baal seeks Japhia – An earthquake swallows up Zion – Yasher-Baal goes insane – “And vipers kept well the courts of the king”

 

1  On the third day the sun did shine upon the walls of the city, and behold, the gates of Zion were opened wide.

2  And there came unto Yasher-Baal one of the soldiers of Sumer, saying: “My lord, the gates of the city are opened unto the hosts of Sumer.”

3  Wherefore Yasher-Baal commanded one of his captains to go first into the city, lest there be a trap laid by the inhabitants of Zion.

4  And after the captain had gone to the city with a company of soldiers, he came again unto Yasher-Baal and told him that there was found in the city neither man nor woman.

5  And Yasher-Baal laughed aloud with much scorn, and he spoke to the mighty men round about him, saying:

6  “Behold the courage of the children of God. Consider with what boldness they would hide themselves from the enemy at the gate.” And he mocked Zion greatly.

7  Now Yasher-Baal gathered to himself a mighty host wherewith to enter the city of peace, and he set himself at the head thereof and entered within the walls of the city.

8  Now there was a great stillness within the walls of Zion, for there was seen no man from among the inhabitants thereof.

9  Wherefore, Yasher-Baal commanded that the mighty men of valor should search again, and whatsoever person was found, even that person should be killed with the sword.

10  So the mighty men of Sumer went throughout all the dwellings of the city, and the lord of Sumer went up to the temple of God.

11  Now when Yasher-Baal beheld all the treasures gathered there, he did swell with much greed, and his heart was filled with the lust for power and glory; for he desired to be great above all the children of men.

12  And all the men of Sumer were filled with wonder, for never had any man seen so great a treasure among the lords and elders of Sumer. Wherefore, there were many who were made to marvel concerning the city of Zion.

13  But there came to Yasher-Baal the captain of all his hosts, even Penuel the son of Jabesh, and he was filled with perplexity, and he spoke to the king, saying:

14  “My lord, truly have the mighty searched throughout all the dwellings of the city, and there was found neither man nor woman; neither found we any sign of their passing.

15  For into whatever part of the city we did look, behold, there was only stillness, for all the inhabitants of Zion have fled away, and where they have gone we know not.

16  For consider, my lord, how that Zion has been encompassed round about. How then, my lord, are they made to flee away, seeing that there was prepared for them no way of escape?

17  Behold, my lord king, how the mighty men of valor are made fearful of this great stillness. Behold how this city haunts the mighty that even their boldness fails them all together, for many tremble and would that they might return again unto Sumer.

18  For they seek to be away from the city of Enoch, lest the God of Heaven grow angry and stretch forth his hand to destroy them unawares.”

19  Now when Yasher-Baal heard these words he grew exceedingly angry and he spoke, saying: “Are you made to tremble as children? Whereunto has Zion fled, seeing that my power has encompassed them round about?

20  What man shall there be among the children of men who, having found the way of escape, would not take with him all the treasures which he has gathered unto himself?

21  Shall he cause that such great wealth and power should fall into the hands of his enemies? Will any man forsake so great a treasure when there is made for him a way of escape? Behold, I say unto you: No!

22  Know this, O son of Jabesh, how that the heavens are clear and pleasing to the eye, and there blows no ill wind from Lake Ishan to trouble the hosts of Sumer. Wherewith shall evil be made to fall upon Sumer, seeing that we have taken the city of God?

23  Concern yourself no longer over the inhabitants of Zion, for surely they have not escaped from the power of Yasher-Baal.

24  For they have thought only to hide themselves from the sword of affliction, that they might not be left desolate among the children of men.

25  Now go, again, and command the men of Sumer to search again throughout the city, for surely you shall find the children of God, and when you have found them, seek from among them the woman who is called Bashia, and bring her forth unto me.”

26  And when he had finished speaking unto Penuel, he sent him away to do according to his word. And Yasher-Baal commanded certain soldiers to carry to Sumer all the treasures which were laid upon the porch of the temple.

27  And for many days they looked throughout the city, yet they found not the children of promise, for God had taken them unto his bosom, that therein they might find rest from the fury of the ungodly.

28  Now on the evening of the ninth day, Yasher-Baal walked throughout the city which lay in deep stillness, and he sat himself down in a certain garden by a winepress.

29  And there appeared unto him a soul of great beauty clothed in much light and glory. And Yasher-Baal, beholding the heavenly vision, stood forth in great astonishment.

30  And the king of Sumer spoke to the soul of the just, saying: “What sort of man are you, that light should be unto you as a covering? By what power are you made to stand before me in the air?

31  Behold, you are most familiar to me. Therefore, speak to me: What have you to do with Yasher-Baal?”

32  And the man of glory spoke to him, saying: “Know you not who it is that stands before you? Behold, I am Azotus of Zion, whom you slew upon the stake these many years ago.”

33  Now when Yasher-Baal heard the words of Azotus, he feared greatly, for he believed not in the life everlasting.

34  And he spoke to Azotus, saying: “How can this be, seeing that by the law I slew you? From whence are you come to torment me?”

35  And he answered, saying: “Be not fearful Yasher-Baal, for I came from Heaven not to trouble you, but to give unto you great wisdom.

36  For consider how you are made great in the eyes of men, for there is none to withstand the power of your might, neither can any man escape the cunning of your ways.

37  Behold how you are made rich with the treasures of this world, insomuch that there is none other to compare with the greatness of your glory.

38  But consider how that though you are rich and powerful in the days of your probation, wherewith shall you bring all these things which you love beyond the shadow of the grave?

39  Did you not know that you came into this world naked, and that there is nothing which you can take with you in the hour of your death?

40  Consider, O king, how you are made exceedingly rich before the eyes of men, yet before God you are poor and beggarly, because you have no understanding, neither knowledge concerning that God who in the beginning breathed into you the breath of life.

41  Shall much gold give you life everlasting? Can great wealth purchase unto your soul the glory of God?

42  Consider how you are made poor before the Lord your God, seeing that you have no knowledge of him, neither have you considered him throughout all the days of your life.

43  Have you considered truly the things wherein you are made rich in the eyes of men? Are they not made to purchase and to sell? Why have you set your heart upon that which has no life, neither does it care for you?

44  Consider how the treasures of this world conspire to possess you unto themselves. For you are ever made to fret concerning them lest someone stronger than you should break in and steal.

45  For this cause are you made to set over them certain strong men, that they might keep safe the wealth which cares not for you.

46  Perchance you shall boast in the secret chambers of your heart, how that great treasures are but the means to some greater gain, for by such wealth as a man might possess he might take unto himself great power among the sons of men.

47  And will you not hedge up round about you the law, wherein your power should not be made to diminish?

48  Yet consider how that by the law you caused that I should die upon the stake, that your power might be made known to all who are weaker than you.

49  Yet, O king, of what benefit was that law which caused that I should die upon the stake? Did you not know that by your hand a way of escape was prepared for me, that I might take refuge in the bosom of God?

50  How then shall you take power over such a one as I, seeing that I possess unto my soul eternal life?

51  With what shall you be made to purchase power in the kingdom of God, seeing that towards God you are poor and without substance?

52  Would it not be wise to seek unto your soul treasures in Heaven? Why then will you continue to set your heart upon the vain things of this world, seeing that they are without life, and that even great wealth must vanish away?

53  Wherein shall much gold care for you, or how shall great treasures grant unto you the knowledge of God? Have you some means to exercise your great power when death shall steal upon you unawares?

54  Consider, O king of Sumer, and learn wisdom lest desolation be made to haunt you even as a shadow.

55  For why will you perish in the midst of great iniquity, seeing that this day God has granted to you the knowledge of life everlasting? Will you not now repent and turn again unto God?

56  For by your great wickedness has God delivered from before you the multitude of Zion, for God desired not the desolation of the righteous.

57  Therefore, consider your ways, O king, for you neither plant nor harvest, yet you are filled with gluttony; you devour overmuch but are not satisfied, neither are you filled.

58  You have ruled with much blood and by your power have the children of men been delivered up to the law. Yet by what power shall Yasher-Baal deliver himself from the grave?

59  Behold how the sons of men are made to labor, yet you have taken that which you have not made, and their children have you caused to perish in the fires of idolatry.

60  With much gold have you established yourself above the children of men as though you were someone great; by the law of your mouth have you brought into bondage the souls of the children of men.

61  Yet all your greatness shall be brought low in the dust, and worms shall consume your glory, insomuch that jackals will sing your praises and vipers shall keep well your court.

62  For this day are you made to know the power of God whom you have scorned; even the knowledge of life everlasting have I made known unto you.

63  Surely your power shall fade as the grass, and your glory perish as the flowers of the field; your dominion shall be made desolate, and all your mighty deeds shall be made to vanish away, even as the morning mist.

64  Therefore, thus saith the Lord your God, O king, consider now your ways lest the days of repentance pass away from before you; for except you repent and turn again unto God, how filled with sorrow shall be your days.

65  Now consider the bitterness of your heart, for though you have taken unto yourself great treasures, and though you have power and dominion over all the children of men, you are a man most miserable.

66  For in great possessions there is neither happiness nor joy, and with great dominion comes a multitude of burdens, for though you have taken to yourself the power of life and death over many people, you are unable to deliver your soul from the darkness of the grave.

67  What does it profit a man if he should take to himself all the wealth and might of this world and lose his own soul? In the day of reckoning what shall a man give in exchange for his soul, seeing that he is poor towards God?

68  Go now, Yasher-Baal, and consider greatly, for only the Gods live forever, while it is appointed unto every man a time to die. For only in the days of our probation can we perform those works which are pleasing and acceptable unto God.”

69  Now when Yasher-Baal heard all the words of Azotus, he took his sword and rushed upon him quickly, perchance to slay him, but behold, Azotus of Zion did pass again into Heaven and in the garden did the king of Sumer stand alone, and with him a deep stillness.

70  So Yasher-Baal went back again unto Sumer, and he called forth certain men of great cunning to go throughout the land and bring back the woman, Japhia, for he believed truly that she had knowledge concerning the fleeing away of Zion.

71  For Yasher-Baal became possessed of a dark and brooding spirit, for he raged continually against Enoch and Bashia, and he swore before all the gods of Sumer that he would find them and drink their blood before all the men of Sumer.

72  But those whom he had sent forth to seek after Japhia returned to the city greatly fearing: for they were unable to find the woman, and they went forth and told the king, and he became exceedingly angry, even nigh unto madness and he slew every one of them with his own hand.

73  And again, in the night, there came upon the lands of Sumer a great shaking, as if the earth were in great torment, and all who lived in the regions round about grew fearful of heart.

74  Now afterwards there came unto the king a certain man, and he told the king how that as he journeyed through the land of Zion, there came a great trembling deep within the earth, and the earth opened wide, and behold, the city of Zion and even Lake Ishan were swallowed up.

75  Thus in the midst of his greatness, there came upon Yasher-Baal a sickness of the soul, and he did leave the city of Sumer, even the mother of nations, and he did wander upon the face of the earth, even as a wild man, and he did eat grass as the ox and the ass.

76  And all the children of men grew fearful of him and they would not walk into the forest of the king, for they looked upon Yasher-Baal as though he were a god.

77  Yet he had become as a madman wandering throughout the lands, naked and covered with sores; continually ranting and raving against Zion and the fleeing away of God’s glory.

78  Now the mighty men of Sumer took council concerning what should be done. And all the sons of Yasher-Baal rebelled one against the other, which thing caused that many should perish.

79  For there were many who contended hotly for the throne of Yasher-Baal, yet was there not found even one who was strong enough to lay hold, or who could take by force the glory of empire unto himself.

80  And all the glory of Yasher-Baal faded away, and the might of Sumer was made weak and feeble.

81  Thus did the power and the glory of Sumer perish from before the eyes of men, and all who sought to rule by the strength of their arm were left desolate.

82  And the winds blew hot upon the land, the walls of Sumer fell low in the dust, and the jackals of the plain made bed among the rubble thereof, and vipers kept well the courts of the king.

Enlightenment.
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4th Endowment.
5th Endowment.
6th Endowment.
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Beginnings.
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Book of Pearls.

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