1 After being away some time, the twelve emissaries rejoined 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 and gave their reports. And when they had finished, He said, “You have done well. Let us go away to a secluded place where we can be alone.”
2 Andri said, “Spare me time to visit my womenfolk, so I can be assured they do not lack food or suffer.”
3 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 will provide for those who serve Him faithfully, but men are not always suitable tools in His hand. Go and do whatever has to be done.”
4 The rest set out in a boat, but when they reached their destination, a crowd had already assembled. 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 spoke to the people, teaching in parables, and when at length He wearied, dismissed them and went to sit alone on a small hill.
5 Meanwhile, the talmidim had put to sea in a boat, and, as darkness fell, tried to row back, but the wind was against them. 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, therefore, waded out to them in the darkness. Then, the wind being in their faces, they quickly crossed the sea to a village where many sick and lunatics were brought to be healed.
6 Going to the place where they were staying, it was then the cool of the evening. Some of the talmidim started quarreling, but soon quieted down. When they were all in the house, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 asked what the argument had been about. But they were silent before Him, not knowing what to say; for they had been disputing among themselves as to who was the greatest among them next to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏.
7 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 then said, “Whoever wants to lead must know how to serve, and the humble-hearted serve best. A great man is not one who has sought greatness, but one whom the need has found great.”
8 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 then took the arm of a young child belonging to the house, who had been standing behind Him, and, drawing the boy forward, said, “Whoever accepts responsibility for a little child such as this accepts Me, and whoever accepts Me accepts My cause. For it is profitless to discuss greatness apart from responsibility. Let the one who can accept the most responsibility be the greatest.”
9 After they had eaten, two followers of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 came into the house and approached Him, saying, “Aḏonai, we have robbed a rich man. Have we not done a good deed? For this gives him a better chance in the life to come.”
10 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Even though he used riches wrongly, you have done no more than add wrong to wrong. Evil cannot be rectified by evil, no matter what the circumstances.”
11 One of the men said, “Aḏonai, I gave all the proceeds to the disinherited, gaining nothing for myself except the fear of death, while the other with me gave only some silver, keeping the rest.”
12 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Then your crime was the lesser one, but a crime nevertheless.”
13 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 dismissed the man and said to the talmidim, “No man can push another into goodness, or force spiritual credits upon him. Men are brought to goodness by guidance and example.”
14 Mattihyahu said, “These men have sons – what of them? For is it not in the Torah that sons shall suffer for the misdeeds of their fathers? Where is the justice in this?”
15 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “The sense of words changes with their transmission. And have I not told you that taking one part of the Torah and setting it apart from the rest leads to error? Only by diligently reading the whole, word by word, can it be understood.”
16 “Given a single thread from a carpet, could any one of you know the pattern? It is the transgressions of the fathers which cause the children to suffer. For not only are there things which must not be done, but there are things which are to be done. Also, things which must be guarded against.”
17 “If a man fails to instruct his children, or permit them to grow up unruly, he is a transgressor against the Torah. And is it not obvious this affects the children? If a man chooses his wife for her beauty and charm – because she pleases him – and not for her wifely and motherly attributes, he transgresses against the Torah. Does not the effect of this fall upon his children? If a man steal, Elohim will not chastise the children. But if that man be caught and crucified, his wife sold into bondage, will not his children suffer?”
18 “The Torah of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, as given in the Books of Wisdom, is unlike the laws of men. A man is responsible not only for what he does, but for what he fails to do. And though he spends his whole life in prayer, at places of righteousness, but overlooks his obligations under the greater Torah, he is not free of transgression.”
19 “The deeds of men are like pebbles thrown into a pool, sending out ever widening ripples; and I assure you that all harm done by the ripples shall be accounted against he who caused them, no matter how far distant it occurs.”
20 “This is the Torah: Whatever a man transmits to his children, even down to the tenth generation, that shall be accounted against him. Likewise, if a man fails to do things he should for his children, that too will not be overlooked.”
21 “When the day of assessment comes, it will be like a net cast into the sea, which gathers up every kind of fish – some wholesome and others not. When full, it is drawn ashore, and the wholesome fish are placed in baskets, while the unwholesome are thrown aside. So it is at the time of assessment – the good go in one direction, and the transgressors in another.”
22 One of the talmidim said, “Aḏonai, it is easier for some than for others. The rich are not tempted to steal, but many a poor man must steal, or see his children starve.”
23 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “The transgressions of the rich lie mainly with the things they fail to do, those of the poor in things they find it difficult to avoid. The justice of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 takes all things into account.”
24 “Is it not written, ‘Toil not to lay up riches which make eagle’s wings for themselves and fly away’? And it is also stated, ‘Some are truly rich though they dwell in poverty, while others are poor amid their riches.’ Those who wallow in their wealth, enjoying it as pigs enjoy mud, are like sheep which, buried in darkness, never live again in the light. The man who gains privileges and wealth in this world but lacks wisdom to utilize them to his true benefit, suffers a fate no better than the beasts which perish.”
25 “True wisdom is filling your lives with things conferring a lasting benefit, and the goodness of life cannot be assessed according to abundance of possessions. There is nothing whatsoever in this world which cannot be used as a stepping stone to a life of glory, and riches are no exception, but few men are wise enough to overcome the test they present.”
26 “There was once a rich man who was always robed in purple and fine linen, whose days were spent in entertaining and feasting. Outside his gate sat a beggar so hungry he would have been satisfied with the scraps of food thrown aside from the rich man’s table. The beggar died at his hour, and his soul found itself in the company of the saintly fathers of his race. The rich man also died and, after his assessment, found himself in the company of those who suffered. Filled with misery, he raised his eyes to the glorious place beyond his reach. And there, bathed in bright light, he recognized the beggar he had spurned, in the company of a Great Soul.”
27 “The rich man cried out, ‘My Father, send a word of comfort; for here I suffer in filth and squalor.’ The Great One answered him with compassion in His voice, ‘My son, recall your life on Earth, when you enjoyed all the good things it were possible to obtain, and think of the difference between what the beggar and you had. Now he is the one who is comforted and surrounded by beauty and cleanliness, while you live in filth and degradation. But it was you who made the choice of place for your future. Still, this is not all. For while you could have reached out a helping hand to him on Earth, here there is an impassible barrier between those of you who are in that place and those in this.’”
28 “Then the man who had once been rich said, ‘I beg you, send messengers to my family and brothers, so they may be warned of what lies in store for them before it is too late.’ The Great Soul replied, ‘They have the teachings of the Torah which carry sufficient message and warning. Let them take heed of this.’ ”
29 “He who suffered replied, ‘No, this they will not heed any more than I did, for their days are filled with worldly distractions. But if someone were to return from the dead, it would bring these things to their attention, and they would definitely take notice.’ ”
30 “The Great Soul answered, ‘Nothing can serve them better than the teachings of the Torah, not even one returning from the dead. In fact, this would serve them ill. For if their goodness stemmed only from proofs such as this, it would be devoid of merit, and therefore worthless at the assessment.’ ”
31 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “This is the manner whereby you will teach the people, but do this according to their understanding. In one place you will tell the parable in a certain manner, and in another place, you will tell it differently, making sure the message never varies. The design inscribed on the outside of a pitcher makes it attractive to some, but not to others. This is unimportant, for it does not affect the contents.”
32 After this, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 took His talmidim to Tiberias. From there, He and the twelve went through Zeḇulun to Tyre on the Western Sea, where they stayed among fishermen in a village by the narrow waters.