1 Yosĕph died when 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 was a youth, at that time working as a craftsman among the Kenites.
2 After 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 had been away a long time, he returned to the house of his brothers. One day, while he worked under the shade of a tree, they came to him and said, “Out in the wilderness by Yardĕn there is a man who cleanses people by immersion in water. He claims strange knowledge and calls himself the Forerunner. We are going to see what he teaches.”
3 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “I have heard of these things, and surely as the son of our forefather Yishai prayed to be cleansed of his secret faults and presumptions, the sons of our father should not stand aloof from cleansing. I will go with you.”
4 The brothers of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “This man is called Yoḥanan. He heralds the coming of an Enlightener who will be an all-wise instructor in goodness. He himself does not bear this new light which will dispel the darkness in men’s minds. He tells of one who will grant men the privilege of becoming children of Elohim, awakening to eternal life that part within them not born of earthly desires.”
5 So 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 and his brothers went out seeking Yoḥanan, finding him beside the Yardĕn, at the place of crossing where there was a pool. The hairs on the head of Yoḥanan were already white.
6 Yoḥanan, seeing 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 among those gathered about him, said, “Look, all of you; here he is, a man in whom there is no guile, the true Lamb of Elohim, the one we await. For Sethel, sending me forth to baptize, instructed me thus: ‘When you discover a man worthy to be the receptacle of the Ruaḥ Ha’Qodesh in abundance, the same shall you acknowledge as the Enlightener.’”
7 Hearing these words, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 joined with those to be cleansed. But when he stood before the Forerunner in the water, Yoḥanan said, “You have greater powers of cleansing than I, yet you come to me.”
8 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 replied, “The power to cleanse and revitalize with the Ruaḥ is not in men but in the Ruaḥ which fills man. It is important each should be allowed to do whatever he is called upon to do.”
9 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 asked of Yoḥanan, “What do you know about me?”
10 Yoḥanan said, “Years gone by, I had a vision of three heavenly lights, and as the sun sank so they rose. A flame of fire went up over Yerushalayim, and smoke filled the Hĕyḵal, and a star fell down into Yahuḏah. The meaning I know, for it was this: The Deliverer is born, and woe unto the house of Herod; woe to you scribes and your interpretations of the Torah.”
11 “The star that appeared and stood over Yerushalayim was a child planted into Bĕyth Leḥem from out of the heavenly heights, as was foretold; and it was prophesied he would be the Deliverer. The fire that burned was the fire of a strange altar.”
12 “I prophesy great things for you. You are the true Bĕn of Elohim. Soon you will see the glory of shamayim revealed, and the power of the Ruaḥ Ha’Qodesh will be poured out upon you as a stream of pure water. The time has come to proclaim yourself. Peace, peace on you whom our Elohim has chosen as His Messenger, for you will proclaim the true gospel. Strengthen your heart, for the road ahead is steep and stony. No man is hated so much as one who tries to point out defects in character and attitudes and seeks to guide men along the path of right and beneficial living.”
13 Then Yoḥanan took 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 down to the river and baptized him, and he was overshadowed by the Ruaḥ Ha’Qodesh and became fully filled with its power, so his face glowed. And the people wondered and were bewildered, for they did not understand. Yet the face of their forefather Mosheh had also glowed after he had been in the presence of the Ruaḥ Ha’Qodesh of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄.
14 Yoḥanan said, “Go and wait upon the mountainside nearby.”
15 Later, Yoḥanan went to join 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 and told him that he was the Anointed One but should not yet make this known to the people.
16 Then Yoḥanan prayed thus: “We give thanks, oh 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, with souls purified through realization of our misdeeds, and Ruaḥ reaching upward to commune with You. It is by Your power alone we have seen the light of Truth manifested and come to know the secret of Your hidden name. In humility we call You by the name of Father because You have shown us a father’s compassion and kindness, and because we know You chastise and discipline us after the manner of a father. You have granted us freedom of activity, that we may enjoy the blessings of life. We have been saved by the waters of Your affection. We approach You as the only Good and Great Being, asking only that we be united with You in the waters of the Ruaḥ and never become separated from the source of life.”
17 This is how Yoḥanan testified concerning these events: “On that day the Ruaḥ outflowing from Elohim came with a great surge of power. I did not know this man from others, but seeing him I recalled what I had been told by those who gave me power to cleanse with water. They had said, ‘When you find someone so filled with the power of the Ruaḥ Ha’Qodesh he can hardly contain it, you will know him for one who will baptize with the cleansing power of the Ruaḥ Ha’Qodesh.’ I have experienced this power and testify that this man is the true Bĕn of Elohim, the Enlightener and Deliverer.”
18 Yoḥanan left 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 on the mountainside, where he stayed three days fasting and communicating with the powers above. Then he went back to the riverside. Yoḥanan was standing with two of his disciples, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 sitting apart, and Yoḥanan said to those with him, “There is the one giving himself as an offering of Elohim, the Enlightener of the world and the Deliverer of our people.”
19 Then the two disciples went to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 and said, “Tell us about your teachings. Shall we follow your way or that of Yoḥanan?”
20 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “There is the Way of the Wilderness and there is my Way, alike in teaching, but calling to different men. What Yoḥanan teaches accords with the Torah even as my teaching; obey either or both, they are the Torah.”
21 From that day forth, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 had power to heal the sick and to do many things, but he went out into the wilderness bordering Yardĕn, uncertain about his next move. While there, hungry and thirsty, he fought with the flesh, resisting the temptation to go down among the habitations of men and use his powers for selfish ends.
22 The same Ruaḥ of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 which overshadowed 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 overshadowed the creation. It enlightens outer darkness and bestows life and is eternal.
23Yoḥanan was one of those who can see the Ruaḥ of men, and so he knew the nature of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏. These things took place at Betharaba, which means the place of crossing.