Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 2

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Confession of Sin


 the rest by a grating. I noticed her troubled and agi­tated appearance. Her maidservant was nearby, hav­ing just deposited on a stool at her mistress' side a basket containing the gifts intended for the offering. The lady was impatient for her turn to come, and when at last she could no longer restrain her agita­tion and desire for reconciliation, she arose, drew her veil and, preceded by her maid with the offerings, passed through the grating and straight to the priests, into a place to which entrance was forbid­den to women. The wardens tried to prevent her, but the maid would not be stopped. She forced her way in, exclaiming: "Make way! Make way for my mis­tress! She wants to make her offering, she wants to do penance! Make way for her! She wants to purify her soul!" The lady, agitated and bowed down by sor­row, advanced toward the priests, threw herself on her knees, and begged to be reconciled. But they told her to withdraw, they could not hear her there. One of them however, younger than his brethren, took her by the hand, saying: "I will reconcile thee! If thy corporal presence belongs not here, not so thy soul, since thou art penitent!" Then turning with her toward Jesus, he said: "Rabbi, what sayest Thou?" The lady fell on her face before Jesus, and He answered: "Yes, her soul has a right to be here! Permit this daugh­ter of Adam to do penance!" and the priest retired with her into the curtained enclosure. When she reap­peared, she prostrated in tears upon the ground, exclaiming: "Wipe your feet on me, for I am an adul­teress!" and the priests touched her lightly with the foot. Her husband, who knew nothing of what was transpiring, was sent for. At his entrance, Jesus oc­cupied the teacher's chair, and His words sank deep into the man's heart. He wept, and his wife, veiled and prostrate on the ground before him, confessed her guilt. Her tears flowed abundantly, and she appeared to be more dead than alive. Jesus addressed her: "Thy sins are forgiven thee! Arise, child of God!"


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 and the husband, deeply moved, reached out his hand to his penitent wife. Their hands were then bound together with the wife's veil and the long, narrow scarf of the husband, and loosened again after they had received a benediction. It was like a second nup­tial ceremony. The lady was now, after her reconcil­iation, quite inebriated with joy. At the moment her offerings were presented, she had cried out: "Pray! Pray! Burn incense, offer sacrifices, that my sins may be forgiven!" and she falteringly repeated various passages from the Psalms, while being conducted to her place by the priests.

Her offering consisted of many costly fruits such as they were accustomed to use at the Feast of Taber­nacles. They had been carefully arranged in the bas­ket, so that they would not injure one another by pressure. There were also borders, silk tassels, and fringes for priestly vestments. She at the same time committed to the flames several magnificent silk robes in which her vanity had arrayed itself for the gaze of her paramour. She was a tall, robust, beau­tifully formed woman of an ardent and vivacious temperament. Her deep contrition and voluntary avowal of guilt had won for her forgiveness, and her husband was heartily reconciled with her. She had had no children by her illicit connection, had been the first to dissolve her sinful bonds, and had won over her paramour to penance. She did not, how­ever, make him known either to the priests or to her husband. It was forbidden to the latter to make inquiries, and to her to name the guilty one. The husband was a pious man; he forgave and forgot with all his heart. The multitude present did not indeed catch the details of the scene. Still they saw the interruption, they saw that something extraor­dinary was transpiring, and they heard the lady's cry for prayer and sacrifice. All prayed earnestly for her, and rejoiced over a soul doing penance. The peo­ple of this place were very good, as they generally

Close of the Feast of Tabernacles


 were on the east side of the Jordan, for they had retained more of the manners and customs of the ancient patriarchs.

Jesus continued teaching in beautiful and touch­ing language. I recall distinctly His allusion to the sins of our forefathers and our own share in the same, and He rectified the ideas of some of His audi­tors on that subject. Once He used the expression: "Your fathers have eaten grapes, and your teeth have been set on edge."

The schoolteachers were then questioned upon the faults of their pupils, while the latter were reminded that if they accused themselves and were sorry, they would be forgiven,

There were many sick outside the synagogue and, although it was not customary for them to enter on the Feast of Tabernacles, yet Jesus directed the dis­ciples to bring them into the corridor between the sacred building and the dwellings of the Doctors. At the close of the feast, the whole synagogue having long before been lighted up with lamps, He went out into the corridor and cured many of them. At the moment Jesus entered the corridor, a messenger appeared from the lately reconciled lady, begging Jesus to grant her a few words. Jesus went to her and retired apart with her a few instants. She threw herself at His feet and exclaimed: "Master, he with whom I sinned, implores Thee to reconcile him to God!" and Jesus promised to see him there in that same place after the repast.

The curing of the sick was followed by an entertain­ment in honor of the feast, and given on one of the open squares of the city. Jesus, the disciples, the Levites, and the most distinguished personages of the city took their places under a large and beauti­ful bower that formed the center of many others, the men and women separate. The poor were not forgot­ten. Everyone sent the best from his own table to them. Jesus went around from table to table, not


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 excepting that of the women. The reconciled sinner was full of joy, as were also her female friends. They gathered around her, heartily wishing her every hap­piness. As Jesus was making the rounds of the tables, she seemed to be very uneasy about something, and frequently cast anxious glances toward Him, hoping that He would not forget His promise to reconcile the partner of her guilt, for she knew that he was already waiting at the place designated. When Jesus drew near to where she sat, He quieted her anxiety, telling her that He knew what was troubling her and bidding her rest assured that all would be well in its own good time. When the guests separated for their homes, Jesus started for His lodgings near the synagogue. He was met by the man who had been waiting in the corridor for Him, and who now threw himself at His feet and confessed his sin. Jesus exhorted him to sin no more and imposed on him as penance to give the priests every week for a certain time something for a charitable purpose. He was not obliged to make public offerings, but to mourn his sin in private.

When Jesus returned from Socoth to Ennon, He gave instructions at the place of Baptism, cured the sick, and visited the Gentiles. Several little parties of neophytes were baptized. There were still stand­ing here some of the arrangements John had made when baptizing for the first time at the Jordan near On, a tent and the baptismal stone. The neophytes leaned over a railing, their heads over the baptismal pool. Jesus received the confessions of many and granted them absolution from their sins, a power which He had imparted to some of the older disciples-for instance, to Andrew. John the Evangelist did not yet baptize. He acted as witness and sponsor.

Before Jesus again left Ennon with His disciples, He had an interview with Mary the Suphanite in her own house. He gave her salutary advice. Mary was entirely changed. She was full of love, zeal, humil­ity,

Jesus in Akrabis


 and gratitude; she busied herself with the poor and the sick. When journeying after her cure through Ramoth and Basan, Jesus had sent a disciple to Betha­nia to inform the holy women of it and of her rec­onciliation, in consequence of which announcement Veronica, Johanna Chusa, and Martha had been to visit her.

On His departure from Ennon, Jesus received rich presents from Mary and many other people, all of which were at once distributed to the poor. The gate­way by which He left the city was decorated with an arch of flowers and garlands. The assembled crowd saluted Him with songs of praise, and He was met outside the city by women and children who pre­sented Him with wreaths. This was one of the cus­toms at the Feast of Tabernacles. Many of the citizens accompanied Him beyond the city limits. For two hours His road ran to the south, through the valley of the Jordan, and on this side of the river. Then it wound for about half an hour to the west, then turned again to the south and led to the city of Akrabis, which was situated upon a ridge of the mountain.

2. Jesus in Akrabis, Silo, and Korea

Jesus was received in ceremony outside of Akra­bis, for the inhabitants were expecting His coming. The tabernacles of green branches were ranged for some distance beyond the city, and into one of the largest and most beautiful they conducted Jesus for the customary washing of feet and offering of refresh­ments. Akrabis was rather a large place, about two hours from the Jordan. It had five gates, and was traversed by the highway between Samaria and Jeri­cho. Travelers in this direction had to pass through Akrabis, consequently it was well supplied with pro­visions and other necessaries. Outside the gate at which Jesus arrived were inns for the accommoda­tion of caravans. Tabernacles were erected before each


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 of the five gates, for each quarter of the city had its own gate.

Next day Jesus made the rounds of the city, vis­ited all the tabernacles, and gave instructions here and there. The people observed many customs pecu­liar to this festival; for instance, they took only a mouthful in the morning, the rest of the repast being reserved for the poor. Their employment during the day was interrupted by canticles and prayers, and instructions were given by the Elders. These instruc­tions were now delivered by Jesus. On His coming and going, He was received and escorted by little boys and girls carrying around Him garlands of flow­ers. This, too, was one of their customs. The resi­dents of the different quarters sometimes went from their own tabernacles to those of their neighbors, either to listen to the instructions or to assist at an entertainment. On such occasions they went proces­sionally, carrying garlands such as were borne by Jesus' escort.

The women were busied with all sorts of occupa­tions in the tabernacles. Some were sitting embroi­dering flowers on long strips of stuff, others were making sandals out of the coarse, brown hair of goats and camels. They attached their work to their gir­dle as we do our knitting. The soles were furnished with a support like a heel both before and behind, also with sharp points, in order to aid in climbing the mountains. The people gave Jesus a very cordial reception, but the Doctors of the Law were not so simple-hearted as their confreres at Ennon and Socoth. They were indeed courteous in their manner, but somewhat reserved.

From Akrabis Jesus went to Silo, distant only one hour in a direct line toward the southwest; but as the road winds first down into the valley and then over the mountain, it makes the distance a good two hours. The inhabitants of Silo, like those of Akra­bis, were assembled in the tabernacles outside the

Jesus in Silo


 gates of the city. They, too, knew of Jesus' coming and were waiting for Him. They saw Him and His companions from afar, climbing up the winding road that led to their city. When they perceived that He was not directing His steps to the gate nearest to Akrabis, but was going around the city more to the northwest, to that which led from Samaria, they sent messengers to announce the fact to the people of that quarter. These latter received Him into their tabernacles, washed His feet, and presented the cus­tomary refreshments, He went immediately to the central height of the city, where once the Ark of the Covenant had rested, and taught in the open air from a teacher's chair very beautifully wrought in stone. Here, too, were tabernacles and houses of entertainment, in which latter everything needed in the former was cooked in common. Men were per­forming this duty, but they appeared to me to be slaves and not real Jews.

The day following was one of the most solemn of the feast, though I do not know whether what I saw here was a purely local custom or one practiced gen­erally. One of the Doctors of the Law annually on this day delivered from the teacher's chair a casti­gatory sermon, to which not one of his hearers dared offer the least contradiction. It was principally for the purpose of delivering this sermon that Jesus had come here today. All the Jews, men, women, youths, maidens, and children had assembled to hear Him. They had come processionally from their different tabernacles, carrying festoons and garlands of leaves between the various divisions and classes. The teacher's chair, under an awning decorated with foliage, crowned a terraced eminence. Jesus taught until midday. He spoke of the mercy of God toward His people, of Israel's revolts and turpitude, of the chastisements awaiting Jerusalem, of the destruc­tion of the Temple, of the present time of grace, the last that would be offered them. He said that if the


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 Jews rejected this last grace, never to the end of time should they as a nation receive another, and that a much more frightful chastisement should fall upon Jerusalem than it had ever yet experienced. The whole discourse was calculated to inspire fear. All listened silent and terrified, for Jesus very clearly signified, as He explained the Prophecies, that He Himself was the One who was to bring salvation. The Pharisees of the place, who were not of much account and who, like those of Akrabis, had received Jesus with a show of hypocritical reverence, kept silence, though filled with wonder and irritation. The people, however, ap­plauded Jesus and sang His praises. Jesus spoke likewise of the Scribes, their misrepresentations of the Holy Scriptures, their false interpretations and additions.

That evening a public entertainment was given in the tabernacles on the eminence. But Jesus was not present at it. He went down to the tabernacles of the poor, where He consoled and instructed. Wher­ever there were no Pharisees to spy their actions, the people pressed around Jesus, cast themselves at His feet, paid Him homage, confessed their sins, and made known their needs. He consoled them and gave them advice. It was a touching sight to see all this going on in the darkness of night among the taber­nacles, from which shone forth a faint and trembling glimmer. No lights were to be seen for, on account of the draught, the lamps had been covered with screens, and the yellow glare they cast lit up the green foliage, the fruits, and the people in a man­ner quite strange to behold. From the height of Silo, many places around could be distinctly seen, and everywhere shone the glimmering light of the taber­nacle-feast, while the sound of singing came from far and near. Jesus did not perform any cures here. The Pharisees kept the sick back, and the people appeared to be afraid. Here as in Akrabis, the song of the Pharisees, when they heard of Jesus' coming,

Jesus in Korea


 was: "What new doctrine is He now going to bring us? What design has He in coming here?"

From Silo Jesus took a southwestwardly direction and went down for one and a half hours to Korea, a place that could be seen from the height of the former city. It had neither walls nor ramparts. The Pharisees of Korea went out some distance beyond the city to meet Jesus, taking with them one of their fellow citizens who had been blind from his birth. They thought to tempt Jesus. The blind man had over his garments, around his shoulder, and over his head a wide scarf like a linen cloth. He was a tall, handsome man. As Jesus drew near, to the aston­ishment of the bystanders, the blind man turned toward Him and cast himself at His feet. Jesus raised him and questioned him on his religion, the Ten Commandments, the Law, and the Prophecies. The blind man answered more intelligently than any had dared to hope—yes, he even seemed to utter prophe­cies. He spoke of the persecution awaiting Jesus, saying that He must not yet go to Jerusalem, because there His enemies would put Him to death. All pre­sent were struck with fear. The crowd gathered around was great. Jesus asked him whether he desired to see the tabernacles of Israel, the moun­tains and the Jordan, his own parents and friends, the Temple, the Holy City, and lastly Himself, Jesus, who was then standing before him. The blind man answered that he already saw Him, that he had seen Him as soon as He drew near, and he described His appearance and dress. "But," he continued, "I do desire to see all other things, and I know that, if Thou wilt, Thou canst give me sight." Then Jesus laid His hand on the man's forehead, prayed, and with His thumb made the Sign of the Cross on his closed eyelids, raising them at the same time. There­upon the man cast off the scarf from his head and shoulders, looked gladly and wonderingly around, and exclaimed: "Great are the works of the Almighty!"


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 He fell at Jesus' feet, who blessed him. The Phar­isees looked on in silence, the relatives of the blind man gathered around him, the crowd intoned Psalms, while the blind man himself in a prophetic strain spoke and chanted alternately of Jesus and the ful­fillment of the Promise. Jesus went on into the city, where He healed many sick and restored sight to others that were blind, whom He found in the space between the houses and the earthen mounds. The usual courtesies of washing the feet and offering refreshments had already been tendered to Him in one of the tabernacles outside the city. The blind man, who accompanied Jesus the whole way, contin­ued to speak under prophetic inspiration of the Jor­dan, of the Holy Spirit who had descended upon Him, and of the voice from Heaven.

That evening Jesus preached in the synagogue for the Sabbath. He spoke of the family of Noe, of the building of the ark, of the vocation of Abraham, and expounded the passages of Isaias in which mention is made of God's covenant with Noe, and of the rain­bow as a sign in the heavens. (Is. 54-55). As He spoke I saw all very distinctly: the whole life and all the generations of the Patriarchs, the branches that separated from the parent stock, and the idol­atry that arose from them. When I am actually gaz­ing upon such things, all seems clear and natural, but when out of vision, when returned to the rou­tine of daily life, I am saddened by its weary inter­ruptions and can no longer comprehend what I have seen with the eye of the spirit. Jesus spoke likewise of the erroneous interpretation of the Scripture and of false computation of time. He proved by His own reckoning, which was quite simple and clear, that all things in the Scriptures could be made accurately to accord. I cannot understand how such things could have been thrown into confusion, while others had been totally forgotten.

One section of Korea lay upon a terraced moun­tain;

Dispute with the Pharisees


 the other, connected with the first by a row of small houses, extended eastward into a deep moun­tain dale. Some Pharisees and many sick from Silo were here awaiting Jesus. Although Korea lay a lit­tle more to the west than Akrabis, yet it was still nearer to the Jordan as the river made a bend in this locality. It was not a large place and the people were not rich. They did cheap basketwork, made bee­hives and long strips of straw matting, some coarse, some fine. The straw or reeds were bleached and of the best. They made also whole screens like entire walls of this matting for separating sleeping cham­bers one from another. There were in the neighbor­hood many other little places. The mountains of this region are steep and rugged. Across the Jordan from Akrabis was the region traversed by Jesus the pre­ceding year at the Feast of Tabernacles when He went through the valley to Dibon.

Next morning Jesus preached in the synagogue and, while the Jews took their Sabbath promenade, cured many sick who had been brought to a large hall nearby. At the close of the Sabbath, while assist­ing at the entertainment given in the tabernacles, Jesus had a dispute with the Pharisees. The subject under discussion was the prophecies uttered lately by the man born blind and to whom Jesus had given sight. The Pharisees maintained that the same man had already predicted many things that had never come to pass, to which Jesus replied that the Spirit of God had not then descended upon him. During the conversation, mention was made of Ezechiel as if his early Prophecies relating to Jerusalem had not been fulfilled, to which Jesus responded that the Spirit of God had not come upon him until he was in Babylon near the river Chobar, when something was given him to swallow. Jesus' response reduced the Pharisees to silence.

The man restored to sight went around the city, praising God, singing Psalms, and prophesying. The


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 day before he had been to the synagogue, where he was invested with a broad girdle and was admitted by vow among the Nazarites. A priest performed over him the ceremony of consecration. I think he after­ward joined the disciples.

Jesus visited the parents of the man restored to sight, he himself having prayed Him to do so. He conducted Him to their home, which was in a retired part of the city. They were Essenians, of the grade that lived in marriage, distant relatives of Zachary, and connected in some way with the Essenian com­munity of Maspha. They had several sons and daugh­ters, the one restored to sight being the youngest child. There were several other Essenian families, all related to them, living in their neighborhood. They owned beautiful fields on a declivity just outside their quarter of the city, and cultivated wheat and barley. They retained for their own use only a third part of the produce, one being given to the poor, the other to the community at Maspha. These Essenians came out hospitably to meet Jesus and welcome Him in front of their dwellings. The father of the blind man restored to sight presented him to Jesus with the request that He would receive him as the least of the servants and messengers of His disciples, the one to go before Him and prepare the inns for His reception. Jesus accepted him and sent him at once to Bethania with Silas and one of the disciples from Hebron. I think He intended to give Lazarus a joy­ful surprise by means of the man restored to sight, for he had known the latter as one born blind. The young man's father was named Cyrus, Sirius, or Syrus, the name of a king who reigned during the Jewish Captivity. The son's name was Manahem. He had always worn a girdle under his garments, but after his cure he put it outside and made a formal vow for a time. He possessed the gift of prophecy. Even when blind he had always been present at John's preaching, and had received baptism. He often gath­ered

Jesus Travels to Ophra


 many of the youths of Korea around him, instructed them and, inspired by the Spirit, proph­esied to them of Jesus. His parents loved him on account of his piety and zeal, and provided him with clothing of the best. When Jesus gave him sight, He said: "I give thee a double gift, sight of soul and of body." The Pharisees of Korea treated Manahem with contempt on account of his prophecies. They called them troubled fancies, foolish reveries, and said that he was vain of his fine clothes. They had brought him out themselves to meet Jesus, being firmly con­vinced that He could not cure him since no one had ever seen any pupil in his eyes. And now that he was restored to sight, the most wicked among them dared to affirm that he had never been blind, that being an Essenian, he had very likely made a vow to feign blindness.

The Pharisees who spoke with Jesus of Ezechiel had expressed their contempt for the Prophet. He was, they said, only a servant of Jeremias and he had, in the school of the Prophet, very preposterous, very gloomy reveries. Things had fallen out quite dif­ferently from his predictions. Manahem also had uttered very profound prophecies of Melchisedech, Malachias, and Jesus.

3. Jesus in Ophra, Salem, and Aruma

One hour to the southwest of Korea was the city of Ophra, hidden among the mountains. Starting from Korea the traveler had first to ascend and then to descend the mountain road. An hour and a half at most westward from it, and on the north side of the desert to Bethoron toward the west, stood the mountain fortress of Alexandrium. Mount Garizim lay on the northwest, to the south and west the plain just mentioned and the mountains of the tribe of Benjamin. Mary often traversed this plain. Many lonely shepherd huts were scattered over it, and the


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 city of Bethel was built on its confines.

Three highroads ran through Ophra. Caravans from Hebron were constantly passing this way, conse­quently the whole place was made up of public inns and mercantile houses. The people were somewhat rude and greedy for gain. Once during the preced­ing year they had received a visit from some of Jesus' disciples, and since that they had improved a little. At the moment of Jesus' arrival, the men of the place were busy gathering grapes in the vineyards that lined the road on either side, for a solemn festival was to begin that evening. The tabernacles were deserted excepting by the children, the youths, and the maidens, who with banners were going through them processionally. The priests also were engaged removing the prayer rolls and other holy things from the tabernacles to the synagogue, where they laid a prayer roll on every seat. I saw the women in their homes. They were dressed in their holiday robes, and were praying from rolls of parchment.

Jesus was espied by some men outside the gate. They went to Him and conducted Him into the city. They washed His feet and He took a little luncheon at an inn near the synagogue. After that He visited several houses, healing the sick and giving instruc­tion. That evening the roll of the Law was carried around in the school, and everyone read a little out of it. This ceremony was followed by a grand enter­tainment given in the public festive hall. I saw lambs on the table, and the Esrog apples also that had been procured for the Feast of Tabernacles were eaten. These apples were prepared with some ingredients. Each was cut into five parts, and these were again tied into one by a red thread. Five persons ate of one apple. The viands had all been prepared by Sab­bath servants, that is, by pagans who appeared to be in a kind of slavery.

Next morning Jesus went from house to house, exhorting the people to turn away from their avarice

Jesus in Ophra


 and love of gain, and engaging them to attend the instruction to be given in the synagogue. He saluted all with a congratulatory word on the close of the feast. The people of Ophra were so usurious and unpolished that they were held in the same low esteem as the publicans. But they had now improved a little. That afternoon the branches of which the tabernacles had been formed were brought proces­sionally by the boys to the square in front of the synagogue, there piled in a heap, and burned. The Jews watched with interest the rising of the flames, presaging from their various movements good or bad fortune. Jesus preached afterward in the synagogue, taking for His subjects the happiness of Adam, his Fall, the Promise, and some passages from Josue. He spoke also of too great solicitude for the things of life, of the lilies that do not spin, of the ravens that do not sow, etc., and brought forward examples in the person of Daniel and Job. They, He said, were men of piety, engrossed in occupations, but still with­out worldly solicitude.

Jesus was not entertained gratis in Ophra. The disciples had to pay all expenses at the inn. While He and they were still there a man from Cyprus came to see Him. He had been to see John at Machaerus, ten hours from Ophra, and had been con­ducted hither by a servant of Zorobabel, the Centu­rion of Capharnaum. He had been commissioned by an illustrious man of Cyprus to bring him some reli­able news of Jesus, also of John, of whom he had heard so much.

The messenger did not tarry long at Ophra. He left as soon as he had executed his commission, for a ship was in waiting to carry him home. He was a pagan, but of a most amiable and humble disposition. The Centurion's servant had, at his request, conducted him from Capharnaum to John, at Machaerus, and from the latter to Jesus, at Ophra. Jesus conversed with him a long time, and the disciples put in writing


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 before his departure all that he desired to know. One of the ancestors of his master had been King of Cyprus. He had received many Jews fleeing from persecution and had even entertained them at his own table. This work of mercy bore its fruit in one of his descendants, obtaining for him the grace to believe in Jesus Christ. In this vision I had a glimpse of Jesus retiring after the coming Pasch to Tyre and Sidon, and thence sailing over to the island of Cyprus to announce His doctrine.

From Ophra Jesus journeyed through the valley between Alexandrium and Lebona to Salem. He descended through the forest of Hareth into the plain of Salem. Gardens and beautiful walks lay around the outskirts of the city, which was most delightfully situated. It was not very large, but cleaner and more regular than many others in this region, laid out in the form of a star, the points radiating from a foun­tain in the center. All the streets ran toward the fountain, and were broken up by beautiful walks. The city at this period, however, had something in its appearance that bespoke decline. The fountain was regarded as sacred. It was once tainted like that near Jericho, but Eliseus had, like the one alluded to, purified it by casting into it salt and water in which the Holy Mystery had been immersed. The lit­tle edifice erected over it was very beautiful. In the center of the city and not far from the fountain arose a lofty castle, then in ruins, the large window case­ments destitute of windows. Nearby stood a high, round tower. On its flat top, which was surrounded by a gallery, a flag was waving. At about two-thirds of the height of the tower projected four beams toward the four quarters of the world, upon which hung large polished globes that glittered in the sun. They faced four different cities, and were a sort of memorial of David's time. He had once sojourned here with Michol and, when obliged to flee into the land of Galaad, he had by means of these globes received information

Jesus in Salem


 from Jonathan concerning Saul and his movements against himself. The globes, by previous agreement, were hung sometimes this way, sometimes that, thus indicating by signs what was transpiring in those parts.

Jesus was very well received. People whom He met near the harvest ricks accompanied Him to the city, from which others were coming to meet Him. They conducted Him and the disciples to a house, in which they washed their feet and provided them with san­dals and garments until their own were dusted and cleaned. Travelers were often presented with the dress thus provided, but Jesus never accepted it as a gift. He generally had a change with Him, of which one of the disciples took charge. The Salemites then took Jesus to their beautiful fountain and tendered to Him the customary refreshments. There were gath­ered around the fountain numbers of sick of all kinds, so numerous that even the streets were lined with them. Jesus at once began to cure, passing quietly from one to another until nearly four o'clock, when He assisted at a dinner given at an inn, and thence proceeded to the synagogue to preach. During the discourse He spoke of Melchisedech, also of Malachias who had once sojourned here and who had prophe­sied the Sacrifice according to the order of Melchisedech. Jesus told them that the time for that Sacrifice was drawing near, and that those ancient Prophets would have been happy to have seen and heard what they now saw and heard.

The people of Salem were of the middle class, nei­ther poor nor rich, but well inclined and charitable toward one another. The Doctors of the synagogue likewise were well-intentioned, but they were often visited by Pharisees from the neighborhood—to their own great annoyance and that of the citizens. Salem enjoyed certain privileges. It had under its jurisdic­tion the district in its immediate vicinity and other neighboring places. Jesus was especially kind to these


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 people and confirmed them in their good sentiments.

On the morning of the next day Jesus went about an hour southeast of Salem to a nook between the Jordan and the little river that flows into it from Akrabis. There was a pleasure garden in this hilly region, also three fish ponds, one above another, each fed by the waters of the little river. There were also baths that could be warmed. Jesus was followed thither by many from the city. From this garden Ennon could be distinctly seen across the Jordan, whose opposite bank was full of promenaders. Toward noon all returned to the city and found assembled some of the Pharisees from Aruma. This city was sit­uated on a mountain two hours west of Salem and about one hour northwest of the newly built city of Phasael, which lay almost hidden in a corner of the mountains. It was there the devout Jairus dwelt, whose daughter Jesus had not long ago raised to life. Among those Pharisees was a brother of Simon the Leper, of Bethania. He was one of the most distinguished Pharisees of Aruma. There were also some Sadducees present. They had all come as guests, for it was customary for the Doctors of the Law to visit one another during the days immediately following the Feast of Tabernacles. Some from other places besides Aruma were present also. A banquet was given in one of the public houses of Salem, at which Jesus and all the Doctors assisted. The latter feared that Jesus was going to preach in Salem on the com­ing Sabbath. They did not relish the idea, since the inhabitants were already unfavorably disposed toward themselves; therefore Simon's brother invited Jesus to go to Aruma for the Sabbath, and Jesus accepted the invitation.

Phasael was a new place at which Herod stopped when in that part of the country. The city was sur­rounded by palm trees, and a little stream took its rise in the neighborhood, thence flowing into the Jor­dan almost opposite Socoth. The inhabitants appeared

Jesus in Aruma


 to be colonists. The city was built by Herod.

On Jesus' arrival at Aruma, He was not received by the Pharisees outside the city gate. Consequently, with His seven disciples, all like Himself with girded garments, He passed through into the city. There He was received according to the custom of the place by some of the well-disposed citizens, and as was always done to travelers that entered the gate with their garments girded. The fact of their entering in that style indicated that they had not yet received hospitality. Jesus and the disciples were taken to a house where their feet were washed, their clothes dusted, and refreshments offered them. After that Jesus went to the priests' house near the synagogue, where was Simon's brother together with several other Pharisees and Sadducees who had come hither from Thebez and other places. Providing themselves with rolls of the Scriptures, they went with Jesus to the public baths outside the city. There they delib­erated upon the passages of Holy Writ that occurred in the lesson of the present Sabbath. It was like a preparation for a sermon. They were very courte­ous, very polished in their manner toward Jesus, whom they pressed to preach that evening, begging Him at the same time not to say anything that could make the people mutinous. They did not say this in plain terms, but they made themselves understood thus. Jesus replied sternly and unhesitatingly that He would teach what was in the Scripture, namely, the truth, and He went on to speak of wolves in sheep's clothing.

In the synagogue Jesus taught of Abraham's voca­tion and his journey to Egypt, of the Hebrew tongue, of Noe, Heber, Phaleg, and Job. The lessons were from Genesis 12 and Isaias. Jesus said that already in Heber's time God had separated the Israelites from the rest of mankind, for He had given Heber a new language, the Hebrew, which had nothing in common with other tongues then existing. This was


Life of Jesus Christ

 done in order the more effectually to separate his race from all others. Before that, Heber, like Adam, Seth and Noe, had spoken that first mother tongue. But at the building of the Tower of Babel this had been confused and broken up into numerous dialects. In order to separate Heber entirely from the rest of men, God had given him a language of his own, the holy, ancient Hebrew, without which he and his descendants would never have been able to keep them­selves pure and a distinct race.

While at Aruma, Jesus received hospitality at the house of Simon the Leper's brother. Simon himself, though now living in Bethania, was originally from Aruma. He was a person of little importance, though with aspirations to the contrary, but his brother of Aruma was well versed in the lore of the day. All things were perfectly regulated in this Pharisee's house. If Jesus was not received with the reverence that faith inspires, still He was treated conformably to the best laws of hospitality. He was given a sep­arate oratory, the toilet linen and vessels were beau­tiful, and the master of the house himself paid the customary honors to his guest. The wife and chil­dren did not make their appearance.

Jairus of Phasael, whose daughter Jesus had raised from the dead, was also here for the Sabbath and had an interview with Jesus. He then went to see the disciples and took them around through the city. His daughter was not in Phasael, but at the girls' school up at Abelmahula. On this day many young girls came here in a body, as I had previously seen the men visiting different places in parties. Abelmahula may have been something over six hours from Phasael.

Outside of Aruma and to the east stood an immense old building occupied by aged men and widows. They were not Essenians, though they were habited in long, white robes and lived according to a certain rule. Jesus taught among them. When invited to a

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 2

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