1 The talmidim and followers of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 began to assemble in Kephar Naḥum to make arrangements for the journey to Yerushalayim. When 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 and some of the twelve who were with Him came to the city, it was the twelfth month. And the collector of taxes came to Kĕpha and said, “Is your Aḏonai liable to pay the dues?”
2 Kĕpha replied, “No, for He pays the tax imposed on strangers, but He will not make issue over the matter.”
3 So, three of the talmidim went down to the waters and caught several large fish, which they sold in the market. Then Kĕpha took the money to the collector of taxes, who tested the pieces and found them good.
4 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 was standing nearby, and, noticing how adulterated money and coins below weight were rejected, He said to His talmidim, “Be like the honest coin testers, though testing men instead of money. Weigh all things with care, using a fair set of scales. Reject all which is impure or not what it should be, keeping only that which is good.”
5 “As there are counterfeit coins, so are there counterfeit deeds, and they are equally hard to detect. Take people as you find them, but reserve judgment until they have been tested. All men are friends in a boat sailing before a fair wind, but when a squall comes and it sinks, the true are divided from the false.”
6 A man stopped 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 in the street and said, “They say You know the Will of Elohim. What does He require of me?”
7 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Did not your father Mosheh say, ‘Hear, my people, for this is what your Elohim requires of you: that you honor Him, following His path and loving Him, serving Him with all your heart and soul, and keeping His divine utterances and Torah’?”
8 About this time, Re’uḇĕn, son of Yaros, who had followed 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 since the healing of his sister, came to Him and said, “Aḏonai, my heart is troubled. For I wish to marry, and if I do this, I cannot remain with You.”
9 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Life is a race where every day the hurdles of decision have to be jumped. You must decide one way or the other, and with finality, having no regrets later. It is well you spoke, for the sun should never set on an indecision. When marriage and duty oppose each other, then a man must choose duty and a woman marriage. But, when marriage can be combined with a diminished obligation to duty, this course is not denied to a man.”
10 “However, marriage is not the least of life’s crosses, and any who enter it thinking otherwise fall beneath the unexpected burden. If your wife is chosen wisely, you will possess a treasure beyond price, but if foolishly you are condemned to a burden of sorrow. Go with my bireḵoth. Have many children and bring them up in the Light. Thus, you will serve best, and I leave My cause in good hands.”
11 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said to some talmidim later in the day, “In the Qodesh Books it is written, ‘Bearer of good tidings, go into the mountains and lift up your voice with power, crying through all Yahuḏah and Yerushalayim: Hail your Elohim and your Deliverer.’ ”
12 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 and his followers took a boat and came to the outlet of the waters, where the others stayed seven days while 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 fasted. After He returned, the talmdim said, “Aḏonai, we are concerned, for You spend too much time in solitude and fast too long; surely this will harm You.”
13 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 replied, “When fasting is properly undertaken it can do nothing except good. Also, the body is like a pitcher which, containing water, must be emptied before it will hold wine. So it is with the Ruaḥ Ha’Qodesh. Did not Mosheh fast for forty days, during which time the Ruaḥ Ha’Qodesh flowed into him so his face shone before the people like a great light? Such is the nature of the power, and because of its brightness he had to veil it. Likewise with Ĕliyahu, who fasted forty days. Do you think those two suffered harm? Or did they benefit through a strengthening of the ruaḥ?”
14 “This you must always remember: When the corn is ripe for cutting, the harvesters come, and it is gathered in; but though it die, many ears have ripened on the stalk, and from these will spring other plants. You are the ripening grain; go forth and sow the field in which will grow plants bringing the Rule of Elohim into being. For then men will be ruled with justice and goodwill, the rich serving according to their endowments, and no man will be idle or wasteful.”
15 “Now, the wickedness of men is like a canopy over a garden, shutting out the fertilizing rain so it cannot nourish the plants beneath; therefore, they wither away. If the canopy remains, the ground becomes bare and barren, yet it needs only the removal of the canopy to make the ground blossom forth into fruitfulness. Such is the nature of the power of the Ruaḥ Ha’Qodesh.”
16 One of the talmidim said, “We have seen that the power is a miraculous thing, but the effort is beyond many of us.”
17 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “That is the hair in the dough; apathy must be overcome and effort expended.”
18 Kĕpha said, “We go to Yerushalayim. What if the people call on You to lead them into battle? Surely You will not ignore their cry.”
19 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Oh Kĕpha, so long with Me, yet still confusing the ways of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 with those of men. Taking up the sword is the easy way, for it is more difficult to peacefully change the hearts of men than to impose a change by violence. Those who must resort to violence are lesser men than those who convert through example and teaching.”
20 “Is it not written in the Qodesh Books, ‘Those who seek wisdom as others seek riches will certainly come to an understanding of the ways of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, and this knowledge delivers them from the darkness of ignorance’?”
21 During the heat of the day, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 was invited into a rich man’s house. And the man of many privileges asked Him, “Why do You prefer to speak in the alleyways and among the poor? Surely it would be better to convert the influential people.”
22 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “I speak to those who listen, and they are found among the poor. The rich are so busy acquiring worldly wealth and chasing fleeting pleasure that they have no time for more important things. They are fattening geese waddling through lush pastures, simply eating and sleeping in content, unconcerned for the coming day when they themselves will be consumed.”
23 The rich man said, “Where is the Reign of the shamayim, and how do I get there?”
24 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “The road starts within yourself, but to find it you must abide by the Torah as written in the Books of Wisdom. For knowledge of the Torah provides a true and clear picture of yourself. Just as a mirror reflects back a true image, so does the Torah when studied diligently. Let this be your guiding light: Take no thought for tomorrow, whether it bring good or bring evil; the cares of the day are sufficient, and the Torah will sustain you.”
25 The man said, “Would it not be more profitable if You showed how to extend our days?”
26 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “What benefit would a longer life bestow? For the tyrants, it would mean more time to oppress the weak. For the evildoers, it would mean more time to indulge their wickedness, while the hypocrites would spawn more sorrow. The money seekers would have more time for exploitation, and the indolent more time to rest. A longer life could only add to the misery of the world. Life as it is suffices for those who wish to use it profitably. If men cannot find the road to righteousness during the time they have, then they never will.”
27 After this, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 and the talmidim set out for Yerushalayim, passing through the borders of Yahuḏah and over the Yardĕn by way of Peria. 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 led the way with six of the twelve, but as they proceeded, many of those who followed became afraid and held back.
28 Noticing what was happening, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 called all the twelve to Him and said, “We will soon be arriving in Yerushalayim, and there I must undergo the ordeal I am taking upon Myself for the sake of mankind. I am the sacrifice to their apathy, but I depend upon you to play your parts, spreading the message of hope and the coming Rule of Elohim among men. For now, I come as promised; surely the people will no longer doubt.”
29 Then the brothers Ya’aqoḇ and Yoḥanan requested a favor of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, saying, “Permit us to sit one on either side of You when You reach the state of glory.”
30 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “You do not understand what you ask, or the consequences. You cannot drink from My cup of sorrow or undergo My ordeal. I must carry My stake alone, for there is none with whom I can share the burden of My heart.”
31 When they insisted that they would be ready for anything, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said to them, “If you remain steadfast in the cause, You will drink from the same cup and undergo much suffering. But whether you share My future state is something over which I have no control. Not all are drawn into the same companionship.”
32 As 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 approached the city gate at Yeriḥo, a large crowd gathered, among which was a humble and honest person named Miḵah, who worked hard to support a large family. He was anxious to see 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 but being rather short and unable to see over the heads of the people, he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree along the route.
33 When 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 came to the tree, He stopped underneath and called to Miḵah, “Come down, for today I will be your guest.”
34 The man climbed hastily down and welcomed 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 with pleasure. But those standing by expressed disapproval, saying, “We expected this to be a great and good Man, yet He associates with men like this who are poor and not notorious for good deeds.”
35 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “The conscientious physician goes among those requiring his care and attention, not among those who have no need of him. If you ordered your lives according to this principle, they would be more beneficial to you in the long run.”
36 After resting in the city during the heat of the day, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 left Yeriḥo with His talmidim, followed by many people. Outside the gate of departure, a blind beggar sat in the dust by the roadside. And hearing the name 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 on the tongues of the people, he cried out as 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 went by, “Bĕn of Dawiḏ, have pity on me.” Many of the people, hearing this, tried to silence him. But the beggar would not stop and continued shouting and oft repeating the words “Bĕn of Dawiḏ.”
37 Though He had passed, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 stopped and sent a talmid back to bring the beggar to Him. When they came, the talmid leading the beggar, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said to the one who had been shouting out, “What do you expect Me to do for you?”
38 The beggar replied, “Great Healer, if You would only help me to see again, I would be happy.”
39 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Unfruitful happiness cannot be made an end in life, but your affliction has served its purpose.”
40 Then 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 placed His hands over the man’s eyes and told him to sit no more by the roadside, but to walk with the people.
41 About two miles from Yerushalayim they came to a place called Bĕyth Anyah, close to the Mount of Olives, where there were many fig trees. Calling two of His talmidim to Him, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Go into the village just ahead, and there, at the first house, you will see a man standing by his doorway with a pitcher beside him. Go and ask him for a drink of water, and say, ‘The Aḏonai comes.’ He will then give you a colt which is tethered nearby. And two men will ask you who it is for, and you must answer, ‘It is for 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏.’ ”
42 When the colt was brought to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, some cloaks were laid over its back, and 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 mounted. Then, some men having gone before, the people strewed the road with flowers and brushwood.
43 And many shouted, “ha’Mashiaḥ comes. Hail to He who represents Elohim. Hail to the day that witnesses the One who will rule in the name of our father Dawiḏ.” Many others cried, “Behold the Deliverer,” while other people shouted, “Come and see the vindicated Sovereign.”
44 Among the crowd were some who said, “This is not a fighting Man mounted on a warhorse, but a humble Man on a female colt.” Many mocked, while some said, “It is only a sorcerer on a mare.”
45 That was the manner in which 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 came to Yerushalayim. But night being close, He sought shelter at a house just outside the city.
46 The following day, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 went to the Great Hĕyḵal of the Yahuḏim and, going around it, came to the part where a fire was always maintained for the burnt offerings, and payment was made for its use. Here was the place where the father of Yoḥanan had been slain. Outside this was a hall where money was changed for those going in, the Parashyim not permitting this to be done within the courtyard.
47 Seeing some men carrying vessels, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said to them, “Surely you know it is written that the Hĕyḵal shall not be made a thoroughfare.”
48 They turned on Him, saying, “Where have You been, and who are You to rebuke us?” whereupon there was an outbreak of fighting between those with 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 and others.
49 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 also overturned the tables of the moneychangers, saying, “You are just as bad, for you turn the House of Elohim into a marketplace.”
50 When the Hĕyḵal guards came to restore order, they said to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, “We should kill You for this.”
51 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 replied, “Destroy this Hĕyḵal and in three days it will rise again.”
52 They, not understanding, answered, “The Hĕyḵal has stood for long and took forty-six years to build. If You say it could be built in three days, You are a fool.” They did not know 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 referred to a Hĕyḵal not made by hands.
53 Going outside to the place of healing where many lay under the trees, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 went among them. And because of the great power which was in Him, He excelled all other healers.
54 Seeing this, some young men shouted, “Praise 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 our Elohim who has sent us the Bĕn of Dawiḏ.”
55 Hearing this, a number of kohenim came to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 and said, “Are You going to cause some disturbance? Put a stop to these things they are saying.”
56 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 answered, “Words of wisdom will issue from the mouths of babes. This is written in the Qodesh Books. Read them and you will learn much more.” He then returned to Bĕyth Anyah.
57 The kohenim and lawscribes held a long discussion about 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, for they knew the mood of the people and foresaw trouble. There was much dispute as to who He was and what He claimed to be, some saying one thing and some another.