Thursday, January 19, 2017
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Kebra Nagast Ch. 51 - 60

THE 'BOOK OF THE GLORY OF KINGS'

KEBRA NAGAST

Translated from the Ethiopic

by SIR E. A. WALLIS BUDGE M.A., LITT.D., D.LITT., LIT.D. F.S.A.

MCMXXXII

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS LONDON : HUMPHREY MILFORD


51. How he said unto ZADOK the Priest, "Go and bring the Covering (or, Clothing) which is upon it (i.e., ZION)"

And he said unto ZADOK the priest, "Go, bring that covering which is upon ZION, and take thee this covering which is better than that, and lay it over the two (coverings) which are below it." (Now this covering was made of threads of the finest gold wirework twisted together and hammered out into a pattern, and they were not woven like the threads of purple.) "And the five mice which were given to ZION, and the ten figures of their shame (i.e., the emerods) which the nobles of the PHILISTINES made for their redemptionnow on the fringes are figures of gold that came forth from the land of Ḳ, which MOSES in SINAI commanded should be made (or, worked) in the fringe of the apparel of AARON his brothergather (all these) together in the covering of ZION and give (them) to my son DAVID. For his mother said in (her) message by TR her servant, 'Give us some of the fringe of the covering of ZION, so that we may worship it, we and those who are in subjection unto us and all our kingdom.' And now, give it to him, and say unto him, 'Take (and) worship this covering of ZION, for thy mother sent a message concerning this, and hath said unto thee thyself, 'Give us some of the fringe of its covering, which we can worship, so that we may not, like the heathen, worship another (god).' And ZION, the Tabernacle of the Law of God, shall be unto thee a guide wheresoever thou art. But it must remain with us perpetually, although we have not paid it all the honour which is its due; and you, although it be not with you, must honour it, and revere it according to what is due to it and what is meet. For God said unto ELI by the mouth of SAMUEL the Prophet, 'I wished you to remain, thou and thy father's house, to offer up incense to the Tabernacle of My Law, and to dwell before Me for ever, but now I have repented. I will turn My face away from thee because thou hast treated My offerings with contempt, and hast preferred thy sons to Me. And now, him that honoureth Me I will honour, and him that esteemeth Me lightly I will esteem lightly; and I will destroy all thy seed.' This He said because the LEVITES had esteemed Him lightly. And say unto him: Take this covering of ZION, and this votive gift shall be in the place of it, and place it in thy sanctuary. And when thou takest an oath and makest another to take an oath, swear thou and make him to swear by it, so that thou dost not make mention of the names of other gods of the heathen. And when thou sacrificest let thy face be towards us, and sacrifice to JERUSALEM and the holy ZION; and when thou prayest let thy face be towards JERUSALEM, and pray towards us."

52. How ZADOK the Priest Departed

And ZADOK the priest went and gave DAVID the covering of ZION, and he delivered unto him all the commands which SOLOMON had spoken. And DAVID, the son of SOLOMON, rejoiced because of this, and he marvelled and held himself to be blessed exceedingly, and said, when the covering of the Tabernacle of the Law of God was committed to his charge, "This shall be to me my Lady." And AZY answered and said before his father, "Thou rejoicest over the covering, but how very much more wilt thou rejoice over the Lady of the covering!" And his father said unto him, "Verily he rejoiceth over the Lady of the covering, and he might subjugate all of us if he were not going to his own country." And he said unto the king, "Make now a covenant with me that thou wilt give to this my son this possession for his Lady and his sponsor and his protection, that he may guard it all the days of his life, for himself and for his seed after him; and that thou wilt give him tithe, and that thou wilt give him a city of refuge in thy kingdom, and also the tenth of the cities in all thy kingdom; and that he shall be unto thee priest, and seer, and prophet, and teacher to thee and to thy seed after thee, and the anointer with oil of thy kingdom for thy children and thy children's children." And he said, "I agree." And they struck (i.e., made) a covenant, and he received from his father the votive offering, and the covering of ZION, and a chain of gold.

And they loaded the wagons, and the horses, and the mules in order to depart, and they set out on their journey prosperously, and they continued to travel on. And MICHAEL the (Arch) Angel marched in front, and he spread out (his wings) and made them to march through the sea as upon dry land, and upon the dry land he cut a path for them and spreading himself out like a cloud over them he hid them from the fiery heat of the sun. And as for their wagons, no man hauled his wagon, but he himself (i.e., MICHAEL) marched with the wagons, and whether it was men, or horses, or mules, or loaded camels, each was raised above the ground to the height of a cubit; and all those who rode upon beasts were lifted up above their backs to the height of one span of a man, and all the various kinds of baggage which were loaded on the beasts, as well as those who were mounted on them, were raised up to the height of one span of a man, and the beasts were lifted up to the height of one span of a man. And every one travelled in the wagons like a ship on the sea when the wind bloweth, and like a bat through the air when the desire of his belly urgeth him to devour his companions, and like an eagle when his body glideth above the wind. Thus did they travel; there was none in front and none behind, and they were disturbed neither on the right hand nor on the left.

53. How the Wagon was given to ETHIOPIA

And they halted by G the city of the mother of the king, which SOLOMON the king had given to the Queen of ETHIOPIA when she came to him. And from there they came in one day to the border of GĔBĔṢ. (EGYPT), the name of which is "MESR". And when the sons of the warriors of ISRAEL saw that they had come in one day a distance of thirteen days' march, and that they were not tired, or hungry, or thirsty, neither man nor beast, and that they all (felt) that they had eaten and drunk their fill, these sons of the warriors of ISRAEL knew and believed that this thing was from God. And they said unto their king, "Let us let down the wagons, for we have come to the water of ETHIOPIA. This is the TAKKAZwhich floweth down from ETHIOPIA, and watereth the Valley of EGYPT"; and they let down their wagons there, and set up their tents.

And the sons of the warriors of ISRAEL went and drove away all the people, and they said unto (DAVID) their king, "Shall we tell thee a matter? Canst thou hold it (secret)?" And the King said unto them, "Yes, I can (hold it secret). And if ye will tell it to me I will never let it go forth or repeat it to the day of my death." And they said unto him, "The sun descended from heaven, and was given on SINAI to ISRAEL, and it became the salvation of the race of ADAM, from MOSES to the seed of JESSE, and behold, it is with thee by the Will of God. It is not through us that this hath been done, but by the Will of God; it is not through us that this hath been done, but by the Will of Him that fashioned it and made it hath this happened. We wished, and God hath fulfilled (our wish); we agreed concerning it, and God made it good; we held converse (concerning it), and God performed; we meditated (upon it), and God devised the plan; we spoke, and God was well pleased; we directed our gaze, and God directed it rightly; we meditated, and God hath justified. And now God hath chosen thee, and is well pleased with thy city, to be the servant of the holy and heavenly ZION, the Tabernacle of the Law of God; and it shall be to thee a guide for ever, to thee and thy seed after thee if thou wilt keep His command and perform the Will of the Lord thy God. For thou wilt not be able to take it back, even if thou wishest, and thy father cannot seize it, even if he wisheth, for it goeth of its own free will whithersoever it wisheth, and it cannot be removed from its seat if it doth not desire it. And behold, it is our Lady, our Mother and our salvation, our fortress and our place of refuge, our glory and the haven of our safety, to those who lean upon it."

And AZY made a sign to MEY, and he said unto him, "Go, beautify, and dress our Lady, so that our King may see her." And when AZY had said this, King DAVID was perturbed and he laid both hands upon his breast, and he drew breath three times and said, "Hast thou in truth, O Lord, remembered us in Thy mercy, the castaways, the people whom Thou hast rejected, so that I may see Thy pure habitation, which is in heaven, the holy and heavenly ZION? With what shall we requite the Lord in return for all the good things which He hath done for us? there being with Him no glory and praise! He hath crowned us with His grace, so that we may know upon earth His praise and may all serve Him according to His greatness. For He is the Good One to His chosen ones, and unto Him belongeth praise for ever."

And King (DAVID) rose up and skipped about like a young sheep and like a kid of the goats that hath sucked milk in abundance from his mother, even as his grandfather DAVID rejoiced before the Tabernacle of the Law of God. He smote the ground with his feet, and rejoiced in his heart, and uttered cries of joy with his mouth. And what shall I say of the great joy and gladness that were in the camp of the King of ETHIOPIA? One man told his neighbour, and they smote the ground with their feet like young bulls, and they clapped their hands together, and marvelled, and stretched out their hands to heaven, and they cast themselves down with their faces to the ground, and they gave thanks unto God in their hearts.

54. How DAVID (the King of ETHIOPIA) Prophesied and Saluted ZION

And King (DAVID) came and stood up before ZION, and he saluted it, and made obeisance thereto, and said, "O Lord God of ISRAEL, to Thee be praise, because Thou doest Thy Will and not the will of men. Thou makest the wise man to forget his wisdom, and Thou destroyest the counsel of the counsellor, and Thou raisest the poor man from the depth, and Thou settest the sole of his foot upon a strong rock. For a full cup of glory is in Thy hand for those who love Thee, and a full cup of shame for those who hate Thee. As for us, our salvation shall go forth out of ZION, and He shall remove sin from His people, and goodness and mercy shall be poured out in all the world. For we are the work of His hands, and who shall rebuke us if He loveth us as ISRAEL His people? And who shall reprove Him if He raiseth us up to heaven His throne? For death and life are from Him, and glory and dishonour are in His hand, He hath the power to punish and to multiply His compassion, and He can be wroth and multiply His mercy, for it is He who trieth the heart and the reins. He giveth and He taketh away, He planteth and He uprooteth. He buildeth up and He throweth down. He beautifieth and He deformeth; for everything belongeth to Him, and everything is from Him, and everything existeth in Him. And as for thee, O Tabernacle of the Law of God, salvation be whither thou goest, and from the place whence thou goest forth; salvation be in the house and in the field, salvation be here and be there, salvation be in the palace and in the lowly place, salvation be on the sea and on the dry land, salvation be in the mountains and in the hills, salvation be in the heavens and on the earth, salvation be in the firm grounds and in the abysses, salvation be in death and in life, salvation be in thy coming and in thy going forth, salvation be to our children and to the tribe of thy people, salvation be in thy countries and in thy cities, salvation be to the kings and to the nobles, salvation be to the plants and to the fruits, salvation be to men and to beasts, salvation be to the birds and to the creeping things of the earth; be salvation, be an intercessor, and a merciful one, and have regard for thy people. Be unto us a wall, and we will be unto thee a fence; be thou a king unto us and we will be thy people; be thou a guide unto us and we will follow after thee. And be not impatient, and mark not closely, and be not angry at the multitude of our sins, for we are a people who have not the Law, and who have not learned Thy praise. And from this time forward guide us, and teach us, and make us to have understanding, and make us to have wisdom that we may learn Thy praise. And Thy name shall be praised by us at all times, and all the day, and every day, and every night, and every hour, and all the length of time. Give us power that we may serve Thee. Rise up, ZION, and put on thy strength, and conquer thine enemies, and give us strength, our queen, and put thou to shame those who hate thee, and make to rejoice those who love thee."

And then he made a circuit and said, "Behold ZION, behold salvation, behold the one who rejoiceth, behold the splendour like the sun, behold the one adorned with praise, behold the one who is decorated like a bride, not with the apparel of fleeting glory, but the one who is decorated with the glory and praise which are from God, whom it is meet that (men) shall look upon with desire and shall not forsake; whom (men) shall desire above all things and shall not reject; whom (men) shall love willingly and shall not hate; whom (men) shall approach willingly and shall not keep afar off. We will draw nigh unto thee, and do not thou withdraw far from us; we will support ourselves upon thee, and do not thou let us slip away; we will supplicate thee, and do not thou be deaf to us; we will cry out to thee; hear thou our cry in all that we ask of thee, and desire not to withdraw thyself from us, until thy Lord cometh and reigneth over thee; for thou art the habitation of the God of heaven."

Thus spake DAVID the King, the son of SOLOMON, King of ISRAEL. For the spirit of prophecy descended upon him because of his joy, and he knew not what he said and he was like PETER and JOHN on the top of Mount T. And they all marvelled and said, "This, the son of a prophet, is he to be numbered among the prophets?"

55. How the People of ETHIOPIA Rejoiced

And (the people of ETHIOPIA) took flutes, and blew horns, and (beat) drums, and (played on) pipes, and the Brook of EGYPT was moved and astonished at the noise of their songs and their rejoicings; and with them were mingled outcries and shouts of gladness. And their idols, which they had made with their hands and which were in the forms of men, and dogs, and cats, fell down, and the high towers (pylons or obelisks ?), and also the figures of birds, (made) of gold and silver, fell down also and were broken in pieces. For ZION shone like the sun, and at the majesty thereof they were dismayed. And they arrayed ZION in her apparel, and they bore the gifts to her before her, and they set her upon a wagon, and they spread out purple beneath her, and they draped her with draperies of purple, and they sang songs before her and behind her.

Then the wagons rose up (i.e., resumed their journey) as before, and they set out early in the morning, and the people sang songs to ZION, and they were all raised up the space of a cubit, and as the people of the country of EGYPT bade them farewell, they passed before them like shadows, and the people of the country of EGYPT worshipped them, for they saw ZION moving in the heavens like the sun, and they all ran with the wagon of ZION, some in front of her and some behind her. And they came to the sea AL-AḤMAR, which is the Sea of ERITREA (i.e., the RED SEA), which was divided by the hand of MOSES, and the children of ISRAEL marched in the depths thereof, going up and down. Now at that time the Tabernacle of the Law of God had not been given unto MOSES, and therefore the water only gathered itself together, a wall on the right hand and a wall on the left, and allowed ISRAEL to pass with their beasts and their children and their wives. And after they had crossed the sea God spake to MOSES and gave him the Tabernacle of the Covenant with the Book of the Law. And when the holy ZION crossed over with those who were in attendance on her, and who sang songs to the accompaniment of harps and flutes, the sea received them and its waves leaped up as do the high mountains when they are split asunder, and it roared even as a lion roareth when he is enraged, and it thundered as doth the winter thunder of DAMASCUS and ETHIOPIA when the lightning smiteth the clouds, and the sound thereof mingled with the sounds of the musical instruments. And the sea worshipped ZION. And whilst its billows were tossing about like the mountains their wagons were raised above the waves for a space of three cubits, and among the sound of the songs the (noise of the) breaking of the waves of the sea was wonderful. The breaking of the waves of the sea was exceedingly majestic and stupefying, and it was mighty and strong. And the creatures that were in the sea, those that could be recognized, and those that were invisible, came forth and worshipped ZION; and the birds that were on it flapped their pinions and overshadowed it. And there was joy to the Sea of ERITREA, and to the people of ETHIOPIA, who went forth to the sea and rejoiced exceedingly, and with a greater joy than did ISRAEL when they came out of EGYPT. And they arrived opposite Mount SINAI, and dwelt in Ḳ, and they remained there whilst the angels sang praises; and the creatures of the spirit mingled their praises with (those) of the children of earth, with songs, and psalms, and tambourines joyfully.

And then they loaded their wagons, and they rose up, and departed, and journeyed on to the land of MEDY, and they came to the country of BT, which is a country of ETHIOPIA. And they rejoiced there, and they encamped there, because they had reached the border of their country with glory and joy, without tribulation on the road, in a wagon of the spirit, by the might of heaven and of MICHAEL the Archangel. And all the provinces of ETHIOPIA rejoiced, for ZION sent forth a light like that of the sun into the darkness wheresoever she came.

56. Of the Return of ZADOK the Priest, and the giving of the Gift

And when ZADOK the priest returned to SOLOMON the King he found him sorrowful. And the King answered and said unto ZADOK the priest, "When the Queen came there appeared to me by night this vision: It seemed as if I were standing in the chamber of JERUSALEM, and the sun came down from heaven into the land of JUDAH, and lighted it up with great splendour. And having tarried a time it went down and lighted up the Country of ETHIOPIA, and it did not return to the land of JUDAH. And again the sun came down from heaven to the country of JUDAH, and lighted it up more brilliantly than it did the first time; but the ISRAELITES paid no heed to it, and they wished to extinguish its light. And it rose below the earth in a place where it was not expected, and it illumined the country of R, and the country of ETHIOPIA, and afterwards all those who believed on it."

And ZADOK the priest answered and said unto him, "O my lord, why didst thou not tell me before that thou hadst seen a vision of this kind? Thou makest my knees to tremble. Woe be unto us, if our sons have carried off our Lady, the holy, heavenly ZION, the Tabernacle of the Law of God!" And the King answered and said unto him, "Our wisdom is forgotten and our understanding is buried. Verily the sun that appeared unto me long ago when I was sleeping with the Queen of ETHIOPIA was the symbol of the holy ZION. But tell me: yesterday when thou didst take off the splendid covering that was lying upon ZION, didst thou not make certain that ZION was (there)?" And ZADOK the priest answered and said, "I did not, lord; it had three coverings over it, and I took off the outermost, and dressed ZION in the covering which thou didst give me, and I brought (the other) to thee." And the King said unto ZADOK, "Go quickly and look at our Lady and examine her closely." And ZADOK the priest took the keys, and went and opened the house of the sanctuary, and he examined (the place) quickly, and he found there nothing except the wooden boards which AZY had fastened together and had made to resemble the sides of the pedestal of ZION.

57. Concerning the Fall of ZADOK the Priest

And when ZADOK saw this he fell forward on his face flat upon the ground, and his spirit was poured out over him, for he was terrified; and he became like a dead man. And when he tarried in coming out SOLOMON sent to him S (BENAIAH), the son of Y and he found ZADOK like one dead. And he lifted up the head of ZADOK, and felt his heart and his nose to find out whether there was any sign of breath being in him; and he fanned him, and lifted him up, and rubbed him and laid him out upon the table. And he rose up and looked at the place where ZION had been set, and he found her not, and he fell down upon the ground. And he cast dust upon his head, and (then) rose up and went out and wailed at the doors of the house of God; and the sound of his cries was heard as far as the King's house. And the King rose up and commanded the crier to go round, and the soldiers to blow the trumpets, so that the people might go forth and pursue the men of the land of ETHIOPIA, and if they overtook them they were to seize his son and bring him back with ZION, and slay the (other) men with the sword. For with his mouth he spake and said, "As the Lord God of ISRAEL liveth, they are men of death and not of life; for verily they deserve death because they have robbed the house of the sanctuary of God, and have desired to pollute the habitation of His Name in a land wherein there is not the Law."

58. How SOLOMON Rose up to Slay them

Thus spake King SOLOMON. And the King rose up in wrath and set out to pursue (the men of ETHIOPIA). And when the King, and his nobles, and his mighty men of war rose up (i.e., had set out), the elders of ISRAEL, and the widows, and the virgins gathered together in the house of God, and they wept for ZION, for the Tabernacle of the Law of God had been taken away from them. Now after ZADOK had remained (senseless) for a season, his heart returned to him. And then the King commanded that the soldiers should go forth on the right hand and on the left, on the chance that some of the (fugitives) might turn aside through fear of the theft. And the King himself rose up and followed the track of the road of the men of ETHIOPIA, and he sent out mounted horsemen, so that they might (ride on before him and) find out where they were, and might return and bring him news (of them). And the horsemen journeyed on and came to the country of MESR (EGYPT), where the men of ETHIOPIA had encamped with their king, and where they had made peace with ZION, and they rejoiced. And the soldiers of King SOLOMON questioned the people, and the men of the country of EGYPT said unto them, "Some days ago certain men of ETHIOPIA passed here; and they travelled swiftly in wagons, like the angels, and they were swifter than the eagles of the heavens." And the King's soldiers said unto them, "How many days ago is it since they left you?" And the men of EGYPT said unto them, "This day is the ninth day since they left us." And some of the King's horsemen who returned said unto King SOLOMON, "Nine days have passed since they left EGYPT. Some of our companions have gone to seek for them at the Sea of ERITREA, but we came back that we might report this to thee. Bethink thyself, O King, I beseech thee. On the second day they went forth from thee, and they arrived on the third day at the river TAKKAZ(of) the land of MESR (EGYPT). And we being sent forth by thee from JERUSALEM, arrived on the day of the Sabbath. And we came back to thee to-day (which is) the fourth day of the week. Consider in thy wisdom the distance which those men traversed." And the King was wroth and said, "Seize the five of them, until we find out the truth of their words."

And the King and his soldiers marched quickly, and they came to G And the King asked the people, saying, "When did my son leave you?" And they answered and said unto him, "He left us three days ago. And having loaded their wagons none of them travelled on the ground, but in wagons that were suspended in the air; and they were swifter than the eagles that are in the sky, and all their baggage travelled with them in wagons above the winds. As for us, we thought that thou hadst, in thy wisdom, made them to travel in wagons above the winds." And the King said unto them, "Was ZION, the Tabernacle of the Law of God, with them?" And they said unto him, "We did not see anything."

59. How the King Questioned an Egyptian, the Servant of PHARAOH

And SOLOMON left that place, and he met a noble of the nobles of EGYPT, whom King PHARAOH had sent unto him with a gift; and there was an abundance of treasures with him, and he came and made obeisance to the King. And SOLOMON the King made haste to question him, even before he had presented his gift and embassy, and said unto him, "Hast thou seen men of ETHIOPIA fleeing by this road?" And the ambassador of PHARAOH answered and said unto the King, "O King, live for ever! My lord, King PHARAOH, sent me unto thee from ALEXANDRIA. And behold, I will inform thee how I have come. Having set out from ALEXANDRIA I came to KĔR(CAIRO), the city of the King, and on my arrival these men of ETHIOPIA of whom thou speakest arrived there also. They reached there after a passage of three days on the TAKKAZ the river of EGYPT, and they were blowing flutes, and they travelled on wagons like the host of the heavenly beings. And those who saw them said concerning them, 'These, having once been creatures of earth, have become beings of heaven.' Who then is wiser than SOLOMON the King of JUDAH? But he never travelled in this wise in a wagon of the winds. And those who were in the cities and towns were witnesses that, when these men came into the land of EGYPT, our gods and the gods of the King fell down, and were dashed in pieces, and the towers of the idols were likewise broken into fragments. And they asked the priests of the gods, the diviners of EGYPT, the reason why our gods had fallen down, and they said unto us, 'The Tabernacle of the God of ISRAEL, which came down from heaven, is with them, and will abide in their country for ever.' And it was because of this that, when they came into the land of EGYPT, our gods were broken into fragments. And thou, O King, whose wisdom hath no counterpart under the heavens, why hast thou given away the Tabernacle of the Law of the Lord thy God, which thy fathers kept pure for thee? For, according to what we hear, that Tabernacle used to deliver you out of the hand of your enemies, and the spirit of prophecy, which was therein, used to hold converse with you, and the God of heaven used to dwell in it in His Holy Spirit, and ye are called men of the house of God. Why have ye given your glory to another?" And SOLOMON answered in wisdom and said, "How was he (i.e., DAVID) able to carry away our Lady, for she is with us?"

60. How SOLOMON Lamented for ZION

And SOLOMON entered into his tent, and wept bitterly, and said, "O God, willest Thou to take away the Tabernacle of Thy Covenant from us in my days? If only Thou hadst taken away my life before this which Thou hast taken away in my days! For Thou canst not make Thy word to be a lie, and Thou canst not break Thy Covenant which Thou didst make with our fathers, with NOAH Thy servant who kept righteousness, and with ABRAHAM who did not transgress Thy commandment, and with ISAAC Thy servant who kept his body pure from the pollution of sin, and with ISRAEL, Thy holy one, whom Thou didst make many by the Holy Spirit, and didst call 'Thy trace' (sic), ISRAEL, and with MOSES and AARON Thy priests, in whose days Thou didst make the Tabernacle of the Law to come down from heaven upon earth, to the children of JACOB Thine inheritance, with Thy Law and Thy Commandment, in the form of the constitution of the angels. For Thou hadst already founded ZION as the habitation of Thy glory upon the mountain of Thy sanctuary. And again Thou didst give it to MOSES that he might serve it nobly upon the earth, and might make it to dwell in the 'Tent of Witness', so that Thou Thyself mightest come there from the mountain of Thy sanctuary, and mightest make the people to hear Thy voice, so that they might walk in Thy Commandments."

"Now I know that Thou esteemest Thine inheritance more lightly than Thy people ISRAEL. And until this present it was with us, and we did not minister unto it rightly, and for this reason Thou art angry with us, and Thou hast turned Thy face from us. O Lord, look not upon our evil deeds, but consider Thou the goodness of our forefathers. My father DAVID, Thy servant, wished to build a house to Thy Name, for he had heard the word of Thy prophet, who said, 'Which is the house for My habitation, and which is the place for Me to rest in? Is it not My hands that have made all this, saith the Lord, Who ruleth everything?' And when he had meditated upon this Thou didst say unto him, 'It is impossible for thee to build this, but he who hath gone forth from thy loins shall build a house for me.' And now, O Lord, Thy word hath not been made a lie, and I have built Thy house, Thou being my helper. And when I had finished building Thy house, I brought the Tabernacle of the Covenant into it, and I offered up sacrifices to Thy thrice-holy Name, and Thou didst look on these (benevolently). And the house was full of Thy glory, the whole world being filled with Thy Godhead, and we Thy people rejoiced at the sight of Thy glory therein. And this day it is three years since that time, and Thou hast snatched away Thy light from us that Thou mayest illumine those that are in darkness. Thou hast removed our honour that Thou mayest honour those who are unworthy; Thou hast blotted out our majesty that Thou mayest make majestic him that is not majestic; Thou hast taken away our life that Thou mayest build up him whose life is far from Thee.

"Woe is me! Woe is me! I weep for myself. Rise up, DAVID, my father, and weep with me for our Lady, for God hath neglected us and hath taken away our Lady from thy son. Woe is me! Woe is me! Woe is me! For the Sun of righteousness hath neglected me. Woe is me! For we have neglected the command of our God, and we have become rejected ones on the earth. As priests we have not acted well, and as Kings we have not done what is right in respect of judgement to the orphans. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! What is right hath passed from us, and we are rebuked. Woe be unto us! Our joy hath turned aside to our enemies, and the grace that was ours hath been removed from us. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! Our back is turned towards the spears of our enemies. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! Our children have become the spoil and captives of those whom we recently had spoiled and made captives. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! Our widows weep, and our virgins mourn. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! Our old men wail and our young men lament. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! Our women shed tears and our city is laid waste. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! From this day to the end of our days (we must mourn), and our children likewise. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! For the glory of the glorious daughter of ZION is removed, and the glory of the daughter of ETHIOPIA, the vile, hath increased.

"God is wroth, and who shall show compassion? God hath made unclean, and who shall purify? God hath planned, and who shall gainsay His plan? God hath willed, and who shall oppose His intention? God speaketh, and everything shall come to pass. God hath abased, and there is none that shall promote to honour. God hath taken away, and there is none who shall bring back. God hateth, and there is none who shall make Him to love. Woe be unto us! Our name was honoured, to-day it is nothing. Woe be unto us! From being men of the household we have become men of the outside, and from being men of the inner chambers we have been driven out through our sins. For God loveth the pure, but the priests would have none of the pure, and have loved the impure. And the prophets rebuked us, but we would not accept rebuke, and they (wished to) make us hear, but we would not hear. Woe be unto us! Through our sins we are rejected, and because of our defection we shall be punished. Sovereignty profiteth nothing without purity, and judgement profiteth nothing without justice, and riches profit nothing without the fear of God. The priests love the words of fables more than the words of the Scriptures; and they love the sound of the harp more than the sound of the Psalter; and they love the service of the world more than prayer; and they love the disputing of the world more than the voice of the Godhead; and they love laughter and fornication more than the weeping of life; and they love the food that passeth away more than the fasting to God; and they love wine and sweet drink more than sacrificing to God; and they love idleness more than prayer; and they love possessions more than (the giving of) alms; and they love sleeping more than praising; and they love dozing more than watching. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us!

"O Queen, we have been negligent in respect of the Commandment of God. We have loved the words of the fablemongers more than the word of the priests. We have wished to gaze upon the face of our women rather than upon the face of God in repentance. We have loved to look upon our children rather than to hear the word of God. We have consoled ourselves more with the sardius stone than with the administering right judgement to the orphans. We have loved to look upon our honour rather than to hear the voice of God. We have loved the word of foolishness more than the words of the wise. We have loved the words of fools more than hearing the words of the Prophets. Woe be unto us! Of our own free will we have polluted our life. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! The repentance and mercy which God loveth we have not done. Woe be unto us! He gave us glory, and we have thrown it away. He made us very wise, and of our own free will we have made ourselves more foolish than the beasts. He gave us riches, and we have beggared ourselves even (to asking for) alms. We looked upon our horses, and forgot our coming back. We have loved fleeting things, and we have not recognized those that abide. We have made our days to deride our life, we have preferred the luxuriousness of food, which becometh dung, to the food of life which endureth for ever. (We have put on) the garments of apparel which benefit not the soul, and have put off the apparel of glory which is for ever. Our governors and the people do what God hateth, and they love not what God loveth, love of their neighbours, and lowliness, and graciousness, and mercy for the poor, and patient endurance, and love of the house of God, and the adoration of the Son. But what God hateth is, augury by birds, and idolatry, and enquiry of witches, and divination, and magic, and flies, and aḳar the animal that hath been torn, and the dead body of a beast, and theft, and oppression, and fornication, and envy, fraud, drink and drunkenness, false swearing (against) neighbours, and the bearing of false testimony (against) neighbours.

"All these things which God hateth they do. And it is because of them that God hath taken the Tabernacle of His Covenant away from us and hath given it to the people who do His Will and His Law, and His Ordinance. He hath turned His face from us and hath made His face to shine upon them. He hath despised us and hath loved them. He hath shown mercy unto them and hath blotted us out, because He hath taken away the Tabernacle of His Covenant from us. For He hath sworn an oath by Himself that He will not abrogate winter and summer, seed time and harvest, fruit and work, sun and moon, as long as ZION is on the earth, and that He will not in wrath destroy heaven and earth, either by flood or fire, and that He will not blot out man, and beast, and reptiles and creeping things, but will show mercy to the work of His hands, and will multiply His mercy on what He hath formed. And when God taketh away the Tabernacle of His Covenant He will destroy the heavens, and the earth, and all His work; and this day hath God despised us and taken from us the Tabernacle of His Law." And whilst SOLOMON was saying these things he ceased not to weep, and the tears ran down his cheeks continually.

And the Spirit of Prophecy answered and said unto him, "Why art thou thus sorrowful? For this hath happened by the Will of God. And (ZION) hath not been given to an alien, but to thy firstborn son who shall sit upon the throne of DAVID thy Father. For God swore unto DAVID in truth, and He repenteth not, that of the fruit of his body He would make to sit upon his throne for ever, in the Tabernacle of His Covenant, the Holy ZION. And I will set him above the kings of the earth, and his throne shall be like the days of heaven and like the ordinance of the moon for ever. And He who sitteth upon the throne of the Godhead in the heavens shall rule the living and the dead in the flesh for ever. And angels and men shall serve Him, and every tongue shall praise Him, and every knee shall bow to Him in the abysses and in the rivers. Comfort thyself with this (word), and get thee back to thy house, and let not thy heart be wholly sad."

And the King was comforted by this (word), and he said, "The Will of God be done, and not the will of man." And again the Angel of God appeared unto him openly, and said unto him, "As for thyself, thou shalt build the house of God, and it shall be glory and as a support for thee; and if thou wilt keep His Commandment and wilt not serve other gods thou shalt be beloved by God, even as DAVID thy father."

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