My attempt at organization. :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

the cities

     And the cities had four judges to four cities, and these were their names: Serak , Sharkad , Zabnac, and Menon. Eliezer the servant applied to them different names, and he converted Serak to Shakra, Sharkad to Shakrura, Zebnac to Kezobim, and Menon to Matzlodin.

     The cities' four judges told the people to erect beds in the streets of the cities, and if a man came to these places, they seized him, brought him to one of their beds, and by force made him lie in them. As he lay down, three men would stand at his head and three at his feet, and they would measure him by the length of the bed. If the man was less than the bed, the six men would stretch him at each end, and when he cried out to them, they would not answer him or stop. If the man was longer than the bed, they would draw together the two sides of the bed at each end til the man was close to death, and if he continued to cry out to them, they would answer him and say, "This must be done to any man that comes into our land."

     When men heard about these things the people of the cities did, they refrained from going there.

     When a poor man came to their land, they would give him silver and gold, but give an order throughout the whole city not to give him a morsel of bread to eat. If the stranger should remain there some days and die from hunger, not having been able to obtain a morsel of bread, then at his death, all the people of the city would come and reclaim their silver and gold they had given him. Those that could recognize the silver or gold they had given him took it back, and they also stripped him of his garments. They would fight about them, and he that prevailed over his neighbor took them.

     After that, they would carry him to the desert and bury him under some of the shrubs; so, they did this to any one that came to them and died in their land.

     After a while, Eliezer was sent to the cities to find his master's nephew and inquire after his welfare. When he went to the cities, he met a countryman fighting with a stranger, and the man of the cities stripped the poor man of all his clothes and went away. This poor man cried to Eliezer and found favor with him because of what the man of the cities had done to him. He said to the countryman, "Why did you act like this to the poor man who came to your land?"

     And the man of the cities answered, "Is this man your brother, or have the people of the cities made you a judge today, that you're allowed to speak for this man?"

     Eliezer argued with the man on behalf of the poor man, and when Eliezer approached to recover the poor man's clothes from the countryman, he quickly threw a stone and hit Eliezer in the forehead. The blood flowed copiously from Eliezer's forehead, and when the man saw the blood, he grabbed Eliezer, saying, "Pay me a service fee for having rid you of this bad blood from you forehead, for this is the custom and the law in our land."

     Eliezer said to him, "You have wounded me and require me to pay you a fee?" Eliezer would not hearken to the words of the man of cities, so the man captured Eliezer and brought him to Shakra, the man's city for judgment. The man spoke to the judge, "I beseech you my lord, this man is unwilling to pay my fee for hitting him with a stone and releasing the bad blood from his forehead."

     And the judge said to Eliezer, "This man speaks truth to you. Pay him his fee because this is the custom and the law in our land." Eliezer heard the words of the judge, and he lifted up a stone and hit  the judge on his forehead. The blood flowed copiously from the forehead of the judge, and Eliezer said, "If this then is the custom in your land, give this man what I should have given him. This has been your decision, and you did decree it." Eliezer left the man of the cities with the judge, and he went away from the cities.

     Another poor man came into the city to seek help, and he remained in the city some days. All the people of the city communicated their custom not to give this man a morsel of bread to eat. They talked about upholding the custom until the day he dropped dead. A woman of the city, Paltith, saw this man lying in the streets starved with hunger. No one would give him anything to sustain him, and he was upon the point of death. Her heart was filled with pity for the poor man; she fed him secretly with bread for many days, and the soul of this man was revived. When she went to fetch water, she would hide the bread in the water pitcher. She would visit the place the poor man was and give him  the bread to eat; she did this many days.

     All the people of the cities wondered how this man could bear starvation for so many days. They spoke among themselves, saying, "No man can bear starvation for so many days or live as this man has; therefore, he has to be drinking water and eating food," so three men concealed themselves in a place where the poor man was located to discover who was brining him bread to eat.

     Paltith went that day to fetch water, and she put bread into her pitcher. She went to draw water by the poor man's place. She took out the bread from the pitcher and gave it to the poor man, and he ate it. The three men saw what Paltith did for the poor man, and they said to her, "It is you who has supported him; therefore, he has not starved, nor changed in appearance nor died like the rest." Then, the three men came out of hiding and seized Paltith and the bread from the poor man's hand. They brought Paltith before their judges and told them what she had done for the poor man. They demanded, "Declare to us the punishment due to this woman for having transgressed our law."

     The people of the cities assembled and kindled a fire in the street, and they took the woman and threw her into the fire where she was burned to ashes.

     And in the city of Admah, another woman was also put to death, because a traveler came into this city to stay there during the night with the intention of going home in the morning, and he sat opposite the door of the house of the young woman's father. The young woman saw him sitting by the door of the house. He asked her for a drink of water, and she said to him, "Who are you?"

     He said to her, "I've been traveling on the road and reached here when the sun set, so I will stay here through the night, and in the morning, I will arise early and continue my journey."

     The young woman went into the house and fetched the man bread and water to eat and drink. This woman's actions became known to the people of Admah, and they assembled and brought the young woman before the judges, that they should judge her for this act. The judge said, "The judgment of death is awarded to this woman because she transgressed our law, and this is the decision concerning her actions.

     The people of those cities brought out the young woman and covered her with honey from head to foot, as the judge had decreed, and they placed her before the bee swarm's hive. The bees flew upon her and stung her, causing her whole body to swell. The young woman cried out because of the bees' stings, but no one took notice of her or pitied her, and her cries ascended to heaven. The Lord was provoked at this and at all the works of the cities, because they had an abundance of food and peace amongst them but would not sustain the poor and the needy.

                                                                                          -The Book of Jasher, Chp 19, concerning
                                                                                                           Sodom and Gomorrah

Monday, May 7, 2012

To the seven churches write:

Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;  I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Revelation 3

And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with the eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.