The Return of ZADOK the Priest, and the giving of the Gift
When ZADOK the priest returned to SOLOMON the King he found him sorrowful. And the King answered and said unto ZADOK the priest, “When the Queen came there appeared to me by night this vision: It seemed as if I were standing in the chamber of JERUSALEM, and the sun came down from heaven into the land of JUDAH and lighted it up with great splendor. And having tarried a time it went down and lighted up the Country of ETHIOPIA, and it did not return to the land of JUDAH. And again the sun came down from heaven to the country of Judah and lighted it up more brilliantly than it did the first time, but the Israelites paid no heed to it, and they wished to extinguish its light. And it rose below the earth in a place where it was not expected, and it illumined the country of RÔM, and the country of Ethiopia, and afterward all those who believed in it.”
ZADOK the priest answered and said unto him, “O my lord, why didst thou not tell me before that thou hadst seen a vision of this kind? Thou makest my knees to tremble. Woe be unto us if our sons have carried off our Lady, the holy, heavenly Zion, the Tabernacle of the Law of God!” And the King answered and said unto him, “Our wisdom is forgotten and our understanding is buried. Verily the sun that appeared unto me long ago when I was sleeping with the Queen of Ethiopia was the symbol of the holy ZION. But tell me: yesterday when thou didst take off the splendid covering that was lying upon ZION, didst thou did not make certain that ZION was [there]?” And ZADOK the priest answered and said, “I did not, Lord; it had three coverings over it, and I took off the outermost and dressed ZION in the covering which thou didst give me, and I brought [the other] to thee.” And the King said unto ZADOK, “Go quickly and look at our Lady and examine her closely.” And ZADOK the priest took the keys and went and opened the house of the sanctuary, and he examined [the place] quickly, and he found there nothing except the wooden boards which AZÂRYÂS had fastened together and had made to resemble the sides of the pedestal of ZION.
The Fall of ZADOK the Priest
When ZADOK saw this he fell forward on his face flat upon the ground, and his spirit was poured out over him, for he was terrified; and he became like a dead man. And when he tarried in coming out SOLOMON sent to him ÎYÔAS (BENAIAH), the son of YÔDÂḤÊ, and he found ZADOK like one dead. And he lifted up the head of ZADOK and felt his heart and his nose to find out whether there was any sign of breath being in him, and he fanned him, and lifted him up, and rubbed him and laid him out upon the table. And he rose up and looked at the place where ZION had been set, and he found her not, and he fell down upon the ground. And he cast dust upon his head, and [then] rose up and went out and wailed at the doors of the house of God, and the sound of his cries was heard as far as the King’s house.
The King rose up and commanded the crier to go round, and the soldiers to blow the trumpets, so that the people might go forth and pursue the men of the land of Ethiopia, and if they overtook them they were to seize his son and bring him back with ZION, and slay the [other] men with the sword. For with his mouth he spake and said, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, they are men of death and not of life; for verily they deserve death because they have robbed the house of the sanctuary of God, and have desired to pollute the habitation of His Name in a land wherein there is not the Law.”
SOLOMON Rose up to Slay them
Thus spake King SOLOMON. And the King rose up in wrath and set out to pursue [the men of Ethiopia]. And when the King, and his nobles, and his mighty men of war rose up (i.e., had set out), the elders of Israel, and the widows, and the virgins gathered together in the house of God, and they wept for ZION, for the Tabernacle of the Law of God had been taken away from them. Now after ZADOK had remained [senseless] for a season, his heart returned to him. And then the King commanded that the soldiers should go forth on the right hand and on the left, on the chance that some of the [fugitives] might turn aside through fear of the theft. The King himself rose up and followed the track of the road of the men of Ethiopia, and he sent out mounted horsemen, so that they might [ride on before him and] find out where they were, and might return and bring him news [of them]. And the horsemen journeyed on and came to the country of MESR (EGYPT), where the men of Ethiopia had encamped with their king, and where they had made peace with ZION, and they rejoiced.
The soldiers of King SOLOMON questioned the people, and the men of the country of Egypt said unto them, “Some days ago certain men of Ethiopia passed here; and they traveled swiftly in wagons, like the angels, and they were swifter than the eagles of the heavens.” And the King’s soldiers said unto them, “How many days ago is it since they left you?” And the men of Egypt said unto them, “This day is the ninth day since they left us.” And some of the King’s horsemen who returned said unto King SOLOMON, “Nine days have passed since they left Egypt. Some of our companions have gone to seek for them at the Sea of ERITREA, but we came back that we might report this to thee. Bethink thyself, O King, I beseech thee. On the second day, they went forth from thee, and they arrived on the third day at the river TAKKAZÎ [of] the land of MESR(EGYPT). And we were sent forth by thee from JERUSALEM, arrived on the day of the Sabbath. And we came back to thee to-day [which is] the fourth day of the week. Consider in thy wisdom the distance which those men traversed.” And the King was wroth and said, “Seize the five of them, until we find out the truth of their words.”
The King and his soldiers marched quickly, and they came to GÂZÂ. And the King asked the people, saying, “When did my son leave you?” And they answered and said unto him, “He left us three days ago. And having loaded their wagons none of them traveled on the ground, but in wagons that were suspended in the air; and they were swifter than the eagles that are in the sky, and all their baggage traveled with them in wagons above the winds. As for us, we thought that thou hadst, in thy wisdom, made them travel in wagons above the winds.” And the King said unto them, “Was ZION, the Tabernacle of the Law of God, with them?” And they said unto him, “We did not see anything.”
The King Questioned an Egyptian, the Servant of PHARAOH
SOLOMON left that place, and he met a noble of the nobles of EGYPT, EgyptKing PHARAOH had sent unto him with a gift, and there was an abundance of treasures with him, and he came and made obeisance to the King. And SOLOMON the King made haste to question him, even before he had presented his gift and embassy, and said unto him, “Hast thou seen men of ETHIOPIA fleeing by this road?” And the ambassador of PHARAOH answered and said unto the King, “O King, live forever! My lord, King PHARAOH, sent me unto thee from ALEXANDRIA. And behold, I will inform thee how I have come. Having set out from ALEXANDRIA I came to KÂHĔRÂ (CAIRO), the city of the King, and on my arrival these men of ETHIOPIA of whom thou speakest arrived there also.
They reached there after a passage of three days on the TAKKAZÎ, the river of Egypt, and they were blowing flutes, and they traveled on wagons like the host of the heavenly beings. And those who saw them said concerning them, ‘These, having once been creatures of earth, have become beings of heaven.’ Who then is wiser than SOLOMON the King of JUDAH? But he never traveled in this wise in a wagon of the winds. And those who were in the cities and towns were witnesses that, when these men came into the land of EGYPT, our gods and the gods of the King fell down and were dashed in pieces, and the towers of the idols were likewise broken into fragments.
They asked the priests of the gods, the diviners of EGYPT, the reason why our gods had fallen down, and they said unto us, ‘The Tabernacle of the God of Israel, which came down from heaven, is with them, and will abide in their country forever.’ And it was because of this that, when they came into the land of Egypt, our gods were broken into fragments. And thou, O King, whose wisdom hath no counterpart under the heavens, why hast thou given away the Tabernacle of the Law of the Lord thy God, which thy fathers kept pure for thee? For, according to what we hear, that Tabernacle used to deliver you out of the hand of your enemies, and the spirit of prophecy, which was therein, used to hold converse with you, and the God of heaven used to dwell in it in His Holy Spirit, and ye are called men of the house of God. Why have ye given your glory to another?” And SOLOMON answered in wisdom and said, “How was he (i.e., DAVID) able to carry away our Lady, for she is with us?”
SOLOMON Lamented for ZION
SOLOMON entered into his tent, and wept bitterly, and said, “O God, willest Thou to take away the Tabernacle of Thy Covenant from us in my days? If only Thou hadst has taken away my life before this which Thou hast took away in my days! For Thou canst not make Thy word to be a lie, and Thou canst not break Thy Covenant which Thou didst make with our fathers, with NOAH Thy servant who kept righteousness, and with ABRAHAM who did not transgress Thy commandment, and with ISAAC Thy servant who kept his body pure from the pollution of sin, and with Israel, Thy holy one, whom Thou didst make many by the Holy Spirit, and didst call ‘Thy trace’ [sic], Israel, and with MOSES and AARON Thy priests, in whose days Thou didst make the Tabernacle of the Law to come down from heaven upon earth, to the children of JACOB Thine inheritance, with Thy Law and Thy Commandment, in the form of the constitution of the angels. For Thou, hadst already founded ZION as the habitation of Thy glory upon the mountain of Thy sanctuary. And again Thou didst give it to MOSES that he might serve it nobly upon the earth, and might make it dwell in the ‘Tent of Witness’, so that Thou Thyself mightest come there from the mountain of Thy sanctuary, and mightest make the people hear Thy voice, so that they might walk in Thy Commandments.”
“Now I know that Thou esteemest Thine inheritance more lightly than Thy people ISRAEL. And until this present, it was with us, and we did not minister unto it rightly, and for this reason, Thou art angry with us, and Thou hast turned Thy face from us. O Lord, look not upon our evil deeds but consider Thou the goodness of our forefathers. My father David, Thy servant, wished to build a house to Thy Name, for he had heard the word of Thy prophet, who said, ‘Which is the house for My habitation, and which is the place for Me to rest in? Is it not My hands that have made all this, saith the Lord, Who ruleth everything?’ And when he had meditated upon this Thou didst say unto him, ‘It is impossible for thee to build this, but he who hath gone forth from thy loins shall build a house for me. And now, O Lord, Thy word hath not been made a lie, and I have built Thy house, Thou being my helper. And when I had finished building Thy house, I brought the Tabernacle of the Covenant into it, and I offered up sacrifices to Thy thrice-holy Name, and Thou didst look on these [benevolently]. And the house was full of Thy glory, the whole world is filled with Thy Godhead, and we Thy people rejoiced at the sight of Thy glory therein. And this day it is three years since that time, and Thou hast snatched away Thy light from us that Thou mayest illumine those that are in darkness. Thou hast removed our honor that Thou mayest honor those who are unworthy; Thou hast blotted out our majesty that Thou mayest make majestic him that is not majestic; Thou hast took away our life that Thou mayest build up to him whose life is far from Thee.
“Woe is me! Woe is me! I weep for myself. Rise up, DAVID, my father, and weep with me for our Lady, for God hath neglected us and hath taken away our Lady from thy son. Woe is me! Woe is me! Woe is me! For the Sun of righteousness hath neglected me. Woe is me! For we have neglected the command of our God, and we have become rejected ones on the earth. As priests, we have not acted well, and as Kings, we have not done what is right in respect of judgment to the orphans. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! What is right hath passed from us, and we are rebuked. Woe be unto us! Our joy hath turned aside to our enemies, and the grace that was ours hath been removed from us. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! Our back is turned towards the spears of our enemies. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! Our children have become the spoil and captives of those whom we recently had spoiled and made captives. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! Our widows weep, and our virgins mourn. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! Our old men wail and our young men lament. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! Our women shed tears and our city is laid waste. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! From this day to the end of our days [we must mourn], and our children likewise. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! For the glory of the glorious daughter of ZION is removed, and the glory of the daughter of ETHIOPIA, the vile, hath increased.
“God is worth, and who shall show compassion? God hath made unclean, and who shall purify? God hath planned, and who shall gainsay His plan? God hath willed, and who shall oppose His intention? God speaketh, and everything shall come to pass. God hath abased, and there is none that shall promote to honor. God hath taken away, and there is none who shall bring back. God hateth, and there is none who shall make Him love. Woe be unto us! Our name was honored, to-day it is nothing. Woe be unto us! From being men of the household we have become men of the outside, and from being men of the inner chambers we have been driven out through our sins. For God loveth the pure, but the priests would have none of the pure, and have loved the impure. And the prophets rebuked us, but we would not accept rebuke, and they [wished to] make us hear, but we would not hear. Woe be unto us! Through our sins we are rejected, and because of our defection we shall be punished. Sovereignty profiteth nothing without purity, and judgement profiteth nothing without justice, and riches profit nothing without the fear of God. The priests love the words of fables more than the words of the Scriptures; and they love the sound of the harp more than the sound of the Psalter; and they love the service of the world more than prayer; and they love the disputing of the world more than the voice of the Godhead; and they love laughter and fornication more than the weeping of life; and they love the food that passeth away more than the fasting to God; and they love wine and sweet drink more than sacrificing to God; and they love idleness more than prayer; and they love possessions more than [the giving of] alms; and they love sleeping more than praising; and they love dozing more than watching. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us!
“O Queen, we have been negligent in respect of the Commandment of God. We have loved the words of the fable mongers more than the word of the priests. We have wished to gaze upon the face of our women rather than upon the face of God in repentance. We have loved to look upon our children rather than to hear the word of God. We have consoled ourselves more with the sardius stone than with the administering right judgment to the orphans. We have loved to look upon our honor rather than to hear the voice of God. We have loved the word of foolishness more than the words of the wise. We have loved the words of fools more than hearing the words of the Prophets. Woe be unto us! Of our own free will we have polluted our life. Woe be unto us! Woe be unto us! The repentance and mercy which God loveth we have not done. Woe be unto us! He gave us to glory, to and we have thrown it away. He made us very wise, and of our own free will we have made ourselves more foolish than the beasts. He gave us riches, and we have beggared ourselves even [to asking for] alms.
We looked upon our horses and forgot our coming back. We have loved fleeting things, and we have not recognized those that abide. We have made our days to deride our life, we have preferred the luxuriousness of food, which becometh dung, to the food of life which endureth for ever. [We have put on] the garments of apparel which benefit not the soul, and have put off the apparel of glory which is for ever. Our governors and the people do what God hateth, and they love not what God loveth, love of their neighbors, and lowliness, and graciousness, and mercy for the poor, and patient endurance, and love of the house of God, and the adoration of the Son. But what God hateth is, augury by birds, and idolatry, and enquiry of witches, and divination, and magic, and flies, and ’aḳarînô, the animal that hath been torn, and the dead body of a beast, and theft, and oppression, and fornication, and envy, fraud, drink and drunkenness, false swearing [against] neighbours, and the bearing of false testimony [against] neighbours.
“All these things which God hateth they do. And it is because of them that God hath taken the Tabernacle of His Covenant away from us and hath given it to the people who do His Will and His Law, and His Ordinance. He hath turned His face from us and hath made His face to shine upon them. He hath despised us and hath loved them. He hath shown mercy unto them and hath blotted us out because He hath taken away the Tabernacle of His Covenant from us. For He hath sworn an oath by Himself that He will not abrogate winter and summer, seedtime and harvest, fruit and work, sun and moon, as long as ZION is on the earth, and that He will not in wrath destroy heaven and earth, either by flood or fire, and that He will not blot out man, and beast, and reptiles and creeping things, but will show mercy to the work of His hands and will multiply His mercy on what He hath formed. And when God taketh away the Tabernacle of His Covenant He will destroy the heavens and the earth, and all His work; and this day hath God despised us and taken from us the Tabernacle of His Law.” And whilst SOLOMON was saying these things he ceased not to weep, and the tears ran down his cheeks continually.
The Spirit of Prophecy answered and said unto him, “Why art thou thus sorrowful? For this hath happened by the Will of God. And [ZION] hath not been given to an alien, but to thy firstborn son who shall sit upon the throne of DAVID thy Father. For God swore unto David in truth, and He repenteth not, that of the fruit of his body He would make to sit upon his throne forever, in the Tabernacle of His Covenant, the Holy ZION. And I will set him above the kings of the earth, and his throne shall be like the days of heaven and as the ordinance of the moon for eve. And He who sitteth upon the throne of the Godhead in the heavens shall rule the living and the dead in the flesh forever. And angels and men shall serve Him, and every tongue shall praise Him, and every knee shall bow to Him in the abysses and in the rivers. Comfort thyself with this [word], and get thee back to thy house, and let not thy heart be wholly sad.”
The King was comforted by this [word], and he said, “The Will of God be done, and not the will of man.” And again the Angel of God appeared unto him openly, and said unto him, “As for thyself, thou shalt build the house of God, and it shall be glory and as a support for thee; and if thou wilt keep His Commandment and wilt not serve other gods thou shalt be beloved by God, even as David thy father.”
‘The Contents of the Kebra NagastT Described [ch1-59]’
‘The Contents of the Kebra Nagast Described [ch 60-117]’
‘THE GLORY OF KINGS’- [ch1-10]
‘The Glory of Zion’-[ch11-20]’
The queen came to Solomon the king’-[ch-21-25]
‘Solomon gave Commandments to the Queen’-[ch 26-29]
‘The King of Ethiopia traveled’-[ch 30-34]
‘They made the Son of King Solomon’- [ch 35-39]
‘ The Ten Commandments’-[ch 40-44]
‘They carried away Zion’-[ch 45-49]
‘The Wagon was given to Ethiopia’-[ch 50-55]
‘The Fall of Zadok the Priest’- [ch 56-60]
‘The sin King Solomon’-[ch 61-65]
‘The Question of Solomon'[ch 66-69]
‘Mary the daughter of David’-[ch 70-75]
‘The King of Persia’-[ch 76-80]
‘Abraham traveled to Egypt’-[ch 81-87]
‘This is what ye shall eat: the clean and the unclean’-[ch 88-91]
‘The first war of the Ethiopian King’-[ch 92-95]
‘Prophecy about Christ’-[ch 96-99]
The Ark of the covenant-[ch100-104]
‘The Coming of Christ”-[ch 105-109]
‘The return of Zion’