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Chapter 3


In the land of Zebulon – Spirit of God calls out to Yeshua – Yeshua gathers his family – The baptism of Yeshua – Yeshua in the wilderness – Certain of John’s disciples follow Yeshua – Judas reports to Caiaphas – Physical description of Yeshua – John: “I must decrease while he must increase” – John goes to Jericho

 

1  In the land of Zebulon has the day leaped forth; in the regions of Nephtali is the darkness fled away. Behold, the people that walk in darkness have seen a great light; upon them that dwell in obscurity has the light shined.

2  Arise, O Israel, and leap for joy; let the land be filled with hosanna. Unto you is the promise fulfilled, for the glory of the Lord has risen upon the inhabitants of the land.

3  For the earth was filled with dimness and in sorrow did all Israel bow the head. But unto you shall the Lord come suddenly; the glory of his wisdom shall he cause to shine upon you.

4  At his coming shall the weary land be filled with healing, that even the Gentiles shall come unto the light; the nations of many people shall kneel before the brightness of his coming.

5  Now there lived in Nazareth, beyond the borders of the sea, in Galilee of the nations, Yeshua the Beloved, whose coming was as the dawn unto many. And the Spirit of God spoke unto him, saying:

6  “Arise, my Beloved, and go forth unto the regions round about Bethabara unto John, beside the river Jordan. He shall prepare you that you might draw nigh unto me.”

7  Therefore, when it was eventide, Yeshua, being the eldest of his brethren, gathered to himself his mother Miriam and with her also were his brothers Judas Thomas, James, Joses and Simon, and of his sisters there were Judith, Esther, and Sarah.

8  And he gathered also the house of Alpheus, even his father’s brother, and he instructed them in the way they should go from that day forth, and he charged them straightly to tender unto Miriam all affection, and when he was completed he blessed them.

9  And when it was morning, he took a staff and journeyed unto Bethabara in the wilderness of Judea by the borders of Perea.

10  On the rising of the fourth day did John wash and anoint himself and sitting beside the waters, he looked northward unto Galilee, and when it was noonday he saw in the distance the coming of the Promised One.

11  And John, seeing him, ran and knelt before him, saying: “My Lord.” Now when his disciples saw this thing, they marveled, saying: “What manner of man is this that even John should go and worship him?”

12  But Yeshua spoke unto John, saying: “Arise and let us establish among the people the will of the Father.” And John answered: “Have you come to be baptized of me? Behold, it is John that should be baptized of you.”

13  So Yeshua was baptized of John in the waters of Jordan, by the borders of Perea, and when he was come out of the waters, there descended from above a dove of purest white and it did rest upon him.

14  And there rolled forth in the heavens a great sound of thunder, and in the midst thereof the voice of God, saying: “Behold, this is my Beloved Son, having become himself as Only Begotten.”

15  And many heard the voice from Heaven and rejoiced, and they knelt before the Anointed One and did worship him. And Yeshua, being filled with the Holy Spirit, did bless them and bid them tarry till he come again unto Jordan.

16  Thus was Yeshua led into the wilderness of Judea that he might make subject unto the Spirit the passions of the body, being tempted many days and nights, having neither food nor drink.

17  And when he had accomplished this, to purify the flesh of the body, there descended to comfort him the Holy Spirit of God, being attended round about by a host of angels.

18  Thus did living flesh become as one with God in all holiness, being filled continually with wisdom and blessing towards the children of men. And Yeshua turned his soul again unto Jordan, for he desired to fulfill all righteousness.

19  And as he journeyed in the wilderness, there came unto him the wild beasts and birds of the desert to reverence him, for they would attend the Creator who fashioned them in the beginning.

20  Now John gathered round about him certain of his disciples and when he saw that Yeshua was come again unto Jordan he said:

21  “Behold, O Israel, the Anointed One of God, even Emmanuel the Only Begotten of the Father.” And his disciples, hearing this, followed after him.

22  And there were of John’s disciples who followed after Yeshua, Andrew Bar Jonas, the brother of Simon; John Bar Zebedee, the brother of James; Philip of Bethsaida, the son of Jabesh the fisherman; and James Ben Alpheus, the brother of Levi.

23  And Yeshua, seeing that they followed after him, spoke, saying: “What seek you?” And Andrew answered: “My Lord, we know that you are the Anointed One, for we saw the dove descending upon you and heard for ourselves the voice of God speaking in the thunder.

24  We pray, therefore, let us follow after you, for we would be your disciples from this day forth.”

25  And Yeshua, hearing this, was moved with tenderness and he answered, “Come then, and follow me.” And Philip asked him, saying: “Lord, where goest thou?”

26  And Yeshua answered, saying: “Come and I will show you.” And setting his face towards Jerusalem they journeyed upon the way.

27  Now there followed from a distance Judas of Kerioth, and being made witness to all these things he hurried unto Jerusalem, and when he was come unto the temple, he called Malchus, the captain of the guard, and commanded that he should take him to the chief priests and elders.

28  So there gathered in the secret chambers of the High Priest all the chief priests and elders of the people, and there was numbered among them: Ananus Ben Seth, Joseph Caiaphas, Ismael Ben Phali, Eleazar Ben Haman, Jonathan Ben Ananus, and Simon Ben Kambith the chief scribe and a teacher of the law.

29  And Caiaphas, having purchased for himself the office of High Priest, commanded that Judas should tell them concerning John the Baptizer.

30  And Judas told them all which he had seen and heard; how that John had sat beside the river four days waiting the coming of the Anointed One, and that when he had come, John did kneel before him and did baptize unto God the one appointed.

31  And how that when the man, even Yeshua of Nazareth, had come out of the water there descended upon him a dove of purest white; and in that moment there came from the heavens above the earth a great and rolling thunder which caused many to worship the Nazarene.

32  And when they heard this, Ananus said aloud: “What good thing can come out of Galilee?” But Caiaphas spoke unto Judas, saying:

33  “Tell us concerning this Yeshua that we may know somewhat of him. By what means shall we know him from all others who come to worship in Jerusalem?”

34  And Judas answered him, saying: “Hear then, most excellent Caiaphas, concerning this man. For he is a man of comely appearance, having kept uncut the hair of his head, wearing an inner garment of white and having placed upon it an ephod of blue linen, having at its hem a gathering of blue tassels;

35  And there is wound about his waist a white girdle, and there is kept in the folds thereof a horn of sweet and precious oil.

36  And he does wear over this a cloak of fine linen, soft and white; and he carries in his hand a shepherd’s staff of olive wood, made stout and finely crafted.

37  This then is the appearance of Yeshua of Nazareth, that perchance when you see him in the sanctuary, you might know him.”

38  Now when the chief priests heard these things, they counseled among themselves because of him, and Caiaphas asked Judas, saying: “What of John then? If this Yeshua be the very Anointed One of God, what then shall become of this Baptizer who has troubled all Israel with his words?”

39  And Judas answered, saying: “Thus spoke John of himself, for when Yeshua came out of the wilderness unto Jordan again, there followed after him many of John’s disciples.

40  And some, being dismayed, spoke unto John, saying: ‘Rabboni, Rabboni, what shall become of you, for this Yeshua has taken to himself up to half our brethren?’

41  But John rebuked them, saying: ‘Is the servant greater than his Lord? Or, is he that is sent greater than he who sent him? For this cause has it been revealed from above that I must decrease while he must increase.

42  Therefore, be not troubled for my sake, neither be perplexed for yourselves alone: for the place of the righteous has God secured against all uncertainty. Come now, let us go from here.’

43  And one of his disciples spoke to him, saying: ‘Rabboni, where are you going, for even we would follow after.’ And John said: ‘I go to Herod in Jericho, for I have somewhat to say to him.’”

44  Now these are the words which Judas of Kerioth reported unto the chief priests and elders of the temple in Jerusalem. And they were sorely vexed because of them, and they did ponder many days concerning what they should do regarding Yeshua of Nazareth.

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