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Chapter 16.

And the rulers of the synagogue, and the priests and the Levites, hearing these words from Joseph, became as it were dead, and fell to the ground, and fasted until the ninth hour.  And Joseph and Nicodemus entreated them, saying:  Arise and stand upon your feet, and taste bread, and comfort your souls, seeing that to-morrow is the Sabbath of the Lord.  And they arose, and entreated the Lord, and ate and drank, and went every man to his own house.

And on the Sabbath the teachers and doctors sat questioning each other, and saying:  What is this wrath that has come upon us? because we know his father and mother.  Levi the teacher said:  I know that his parents fear God, and never depart from prayer, and give tithes thrice a-year.  And when Jesus was born, his parents 447brought him up to this place, and gave to God sacrifices and burnt-offerings.  And assuredly the great teacher Simeon took him into his arms, saying:  Now Thou sendest away Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word, in peace; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples, a light for the revealing of the nations, and the glory of Thy people Israel.  And he blessed Mary his mother, and said, I make an announcement to thee concerning this child.  And Mary said, Well, my lord.19701970    Perhaps this would be better as a question:  Is it good?  And Simeon said, Well.  And he said again, Lo, he has been set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be spoken against; and a sword shall pierce thine own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

And the Jews said to Levi:  And how knowest thou these things?  Levi says:  Do you not know that from him I learned the law?  They of the council say:  We wish to see thy father.  And they searched out his father, and got information; for he said:  Why did you not believe my son?  The blessed and just Simeon taught him the law.  The council says to Rabbi Levi:  The saying which thou hast spoken is true.  The chief priests and rulers of the synagogue, and Levites, said to each other:  Come, let us send into Galilee to the three men who came hither and gave an account of his teaching and his being taken up, and let them tell us how they saw him taken up into heaven.  And that saying pleased all.  Then they sent three men into Galilee; and Go, said they, say to Rabbi Addas and Rabbi Finees and Rabbi Egias, Peace to you and yours!  Many investigations have been made in the council concerning Jesus; therefore have we been instructed to call you to the holy place, to Jerusalem.

The men went to Galilee, and found them sitting, and meditating on the law.  And they saluted them in peace.  And they said:  Why have you come?  The messengers said:  The council summon you to the holy city Jerusalem.  And the men, hearing that they were sought for by the council, prayed to God, and reclined with the men, and ate and drank with them.  And rising in the morning, they went to Jerusalem in peace.

And on the morrow the council sat; and they questioned them, saying:  Did you plainly see Jesus sitting on Mount Mambre teaching his disciples, and taken up into heaven?

First Addas the teacher says:  I really saw him sitting on Mount Mambre teaching his disciples; and a shining cloud overshadowed him and his disciples, and he went up into heaven; and his disciples prayed upon their faces on the ground.  And calling Finees the priest, they questioned him also, saying:  How didst thou see Jesus taken up?  And he said the same as the other.  And again they called the third, Rabbi Egias, and questioned him, and he said the same as the first and second.  And those who were in the council said:  The law of Moses holds that by the mouth of two or three every word should stand.  Abudem, a teacher, one of the doctors, says:  It is written in the law, Enoch walked with God, and was translated; for God took him.  Jairus, a teacher, said:  And we have heard of the death of holy Moses, and have not seen it; for it is written in the law of the Lord, And Moses died according to the word19711971    Lit., mouth. of the Lord, and no man knoweth of his burying even to the present day.  Rabbi Levi said:  What is it that Rabbi Simeon said:  Lo, he lies for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be spoken against?  Rabbi Isaac said:  It is written in the law, Lo, I send mine angel, who shall go before thy face to keep thee in every good way, because I have brought his19721972    Or, its.  The text of the clause is corrupt. new name.

Then Annas and Caiaphas said:  Rightly have ye said that these things are written in the law of Moses, that no one saw the death of Enoch, and no one has named the burying of holy Moses.  And Jesus gave account to19731973    i.e., was tried before. Pilate, and we saw him scourged, and receiving spitting on his face; and the soldiers put a crown of thorns on him, and he received sentence from Pilate; and then he was crucified, and they gave him gall and vinegar to drink, and two robbers were crucified with him, and the soldier Longinus pierced his side with a lance; and our honourable father Joseph begged his body, and he has risen again, and, as they say, the three teachers have seen him taken up into heaven.  And Rabbi Levi has borne witness to what was said by Simeon the elder—that he has been set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be spoken against.

Then Didas, a teacher, said to all the assembly:  If all the things which these have borne witness to have come to pass in Jesus, they are from God, and let it not be wonderful in our eyes.19741974    Comp. Ps. cxviii. 23.  The chiefs of the synagogue, and the priests and the Levites, said to each other how our law holds, saying:  His name shall be blessed for ever:  His place endureth before the sun, and His seat before the moon:  and all the tribes of earth shall be blessed in Him, and all nations shall serve Him; and kings shall come from far, adoring and magnifying Him.19751975    Ps. lxxii. 11, 17.

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