Slavonic Josephus 2

Slavonic John the Baptist

1. Now at that time a man went about among the Jews in strange garments; for he had put pelts on his body everywhere where it was not covered with his own hair;
2. indeed to look at he was like a wild man.
3. He came to the Jews and summoned them to freedom, saying: "God hath sent me, that I may show you the way of the Law, wherein ye may free yourselves from many holders of power.
4. And there will be no mortal ruling over you, only the Highest who hath sent me."
5. And when the people had heard this, they were joyful. And there went after him all Judæa, that lies in the region round Jerusalem.
6. And he did nothing else to them save that he plunged them into the stream of the Jordan and dismissed them, instructing them that they should cease from evil works, and [promising] that there would [then] be given them a ruler who would set them free and subject to them all that is not in submission; but no one of whom we speak (?), would himself be subjected.
7. Some reviled, but others got faith.
8. And when he had been brought to Archelaus and the doctors of the Law had assembled, they asked him who he is and where he has been until then.
9. And to this he made answer and spake: "I am pure; [for] the Spirit of God hath led me on, and [I live on] cane and roots and tree-food.
10. But when they threatened to put him to torture if he would not cease from those words and deeds, he nevertheless said: "It is meet for you [rather] to cease from your heinous works and cleave unto the Lord your God."
11. And there rose up in anger Simon, an Essæan by extraction, a scribe, and he spake: "We read every day the divine books.
12. But thou, only now come from the forest like a wild animal,—thou darest in sooth to teach us and to mislead the people with thy reprobate words."
13. And he rushed forward to do him bodily violence.
14. But he, rebuking them, spake: "I will not disclose to you the mystery which dwelleth in you, for ye have not desired it.
15. Thereby an untold calamity is come upon you, and because of yourselves."
16. And when he had thus spoken, he went forth to the otherside of the Jordan; and while no one durst rebuke him, that one did what [he had done] also heretofore.

John's Rebuke of Agrippa

1. And Herod, his brother, took his wife Herodias.
2. And because of her all the doctors of the Law abhorred him, but durst not accuse him before his face.
3. But only that one whom they called a wild man, came to him in anger and spake: "Why hast thou taken the wife of thy brother?

Continued / Table of Contents