The King of Persia
There was a certain depraved man of the seed of BENJAMIN, whose name was BENYÂS, who used to lead the mule of the King of Israel, and KARMÎN used to feed him, together with the mule of King MANASSEH. And among the neighbors of KARMÎN there were certain men who were envious of him because of [his] pastures and wells, and because of the multitude of his flocks and herds and servants, for the region [where he had settled] was the inheritance of their fathers, and for this reason they wished to drive him away from their country. And they kept watch upon BENYÂS, the leader of the king’s mule, with evil intent, and they abused KARMÎN and said unto BENYÂS, “This KARMÎNblasphemeth, and he hath blasphemed the King of Israel, the anointed of God, saying, ‘This king is not the son of a free woman, but the son of an old woman servant whom [a certain man] bought for two Ḳôr-measures [of grain] to work at the mill and brick-making.’ Do thou take thy case against him to the king and accuse him, for we will be thy witnesses before the king, and we will not let thee be put to shame.” And they made a covenant together, and they swore to him that they would bear false witness against KARMÎN, by whose tongue such a word had never been uttered, and into whose mind such a thought had never entered.
BENYÂS went to his lord, the King, and told him all this matter. And the King said unto him, “Is there any man who hath heard this with thee?” And BENYÂS answered and said unto him, “Yea, there are some who have heard—two of the nobles of Israel who belong to ’ARMÂTÊM.” And the King said unto him, “Go now and bring them hither secretly so that we may find out whether they agree with thy words; [and if they do] we will cut off the head of KARMÎN.” And BENYÂS departed and brought ZARYÔS and KÂRMÊLÔS, of the tribe of MANASSEH, for it had been agreed between them that they would not put him to shame before the King in the matter of their lying testimony. And these two men agreed together and planned when they were on [their] way, saying, “When we have spoken to the King if he shall ask us afterward separately (so that he may find out the truth of our words), saying, ‘Where did you hear these words?’ we will each of us answer and say unto him, ‘When we were drinking wine with him.’ And when he shall say unto us, ‘What day [was this]?’ we will say, ‘Five days after the new moon.’ And when he saith unto us, ‘What time [of the day]?’ we will say unto him, ‘At the ninth hour, when he was sitting with us, and we were drinking wine together.’ And when he shall ask us, saying, ‘What did ye drink out of? and where were ye sitting?’ we will say unto him, ‘Out of cups of gold, and our seats were in the hall of his house where the cushions for reclining upon were placed.'” And they agreed together on this evil plot [whilst they were] on their way.
When they arrived in the presence of the King BENYÂS brought them forward, and the King questioned them, and they repeated to him all their lying counsel. And he asked them—according to as they had surmised on the road—the occasion, and the day, and the hour of their drinking [wine] and their sitting [in the hall], and they told him. Now, God hath commanded that kings, and governors, and all those who occupy a high position shall investigate an accusation, even as God commanded MOSES.
When the King had enquired into all this matter, he called the captain of his host who stood before him, and said unto him, “Go at dawn of day to-morrow and surround the house of KARMÎN and let not any one of his people escape thee, neither man nor woman, and slay [them all] with the sword. And as for KARMÎN, cut off his head, and bring hither all his possessions, and his goods, and all his flocks and herds, and his gold and silver.”
Those liars rejoiced and returned to their district, and they went into the house of KARMÎN and held converse with him with words of peace, and they paid him compliments, and they made jests before his face, evil is in their hearts. And then was fulfilled on them the prophecy of David, who said, “Those who speak words of peace with their neighbor, and [have] evil in their hearts, reward them according to the evil of their works and according to the evil of their thoughts.” And they drank themselves drunk in the house of KARMÎN, and they slept together with him. And when they had fallen asleep, behold, the Angel of God was sent to KARMÎN, and he woke him and said unto him, “Leave all thy possessions and save thyself, for men have been commanded by MANASSEH the King to cut off thy head. Take as much of thy riches as thou canst carry, and flee into another country, for this MANASSEH is a slayer of the prophets and a seeker after the blood of innocent men.”
Then KARMÎN rose up straightway, and sought out his treasure in gold and took it, and he awoke his wife and his two sons, and he also awoke his chosen servants, and loaded them with possessions of great value, and went forth by night. And he sent off his wife and his sons with two servants to go to JERUSALEM, and departed with two of his servants to a remote country—a distance of three months’ journey—and he arrived at BABYLON. And he came to BALÂ‛ÔN, the King of BABYLON, and gave him a gift, and related unto him what had happened to him. And BALÂ‛ÔN loved KARMÎN and gave him a habitation near the house of his merchant, who had departed to a far country for a period of three years.
Those men who had borne lying testimony they killed in bed in KARMÎN’S house.
The wife of the merchant loved KARMÎN, and she was seduced by him and became with child; now the behavior of women is bad. And the husband of the woman had left her when she was with child, and she brought forth and gave the child to a nurse who brought it up. And in the second year, she went astray and became with child by KARMÎN, for the person of KARMÎN was exceeding goodly in ISRAEL. And the woman wished to throw the child whom she had conceived into the river when he was born and to wait for the merchant her husband as if she had not gone astray, and had not done anything [wrong]. Even as SOLOMON the wise man saith, “There are three things which are difficult for me in my mind, and the fourth of these I cannot comprehend:—The track of the eagle in the heavens, the path of the serpent on the rock, the track of a ship on the sea.” Now the fourth of them of which he speaks concerneth the wicked woman, who, having wronged her husband, and washed, sitteth down like a woman who hath done nothing, and she sweareth an oath falsely.
At that time the wife of BALÂ‛ÔN, the King of BABYLON, conceived and brought forth something which was like unto an eagle, a perfect bird but altogether without wings. And she called a handmaiden who was a favorite, and sent the thing away in a wicker-basket and commanded her to cast it into the sea (i.e., river), without letting anyone know about it. And the time for the bringing forth of the wife of the merchant arrived, and she brought forth a man child, comely in form [and worthy of] compassion. And without suckling, if she called to a handmaiden who was a favorite, and put it into the inner part of a box and commanded her to throw him into the sea (i.e., river), without anyone knowing about it; for she was afraid of her husband. And in the same night, two women brought forth, [the merchant’s wife] and the wife of the King, and at daybreak the two women sent their handmaidens to cast their children into the river.
By the Will of God these, these, maidens met each other before they had thrown the children into the river, and they talked together. And the handmaiden of the King asked the handmaiden of the merchant, saying, “What is in thy box?” and she showed her the beautiful child. And the King’s handmaiden said unto her, “Why hast thou brought him here?” And the merchant’s handmaiden said unto her, “Because the wife of my lord hath gone astray with a certain ISRAELITE, and she conceived and brought forth a child, and she hath commanded me to throw him into the river.” And the King’s handmaiden said unto her, “Why doth she not bring up a child who is so beautiful?” And the merchant’s handmaiden said unto her, “Her husband left her with child, and she brought forth a child and is rearing him; how then can she rear this child who is of strange and alien seed?” And the merchant’s handmaiden asked the King’s handmaiden, saying, “What hast thou in thy box?” And the King’s handmaiden said unto her, “My lady hath brought forth a child that hath not the appearance of a man but of a wingless eagle, and she hath commanded me to throw it into the river. And now, give me this child of thine that I may give it to my mistress, and do thou take this bird, and cast it into the river”; and they did so. And the handmaiden of the King took the child [of KARMÎN] to her mistress, and the Queen rejoiced, and it was reported to the King that the Queen had borne a son. And the Queen gave the boy to the nurses, and he grew up in the house of the King, and she called his name “NÂBÛKĔDNÂṢAR” (NEBUCHADNEZZAR), which is, being interpreted, “By the luck of the bird.”
Through this, it is well known that the King of BABYLON is the seed of Shem. And he came and overthrew JERUSALEM by the Will of God, and he carried away captive the children of Israel, and he made them wander in the town of Babylon with the grandchildren of MANASSEH. And he was so very rich that he set up a pillar of gold on the plain of BABYLON sixty cubits high, and he was very arrogant, and he used to say, “I make the sun to shine in the heavens”; and he worshipped idols. And God abased him so that he might know Him, and He set his portion with the beasts of the field. And when he knew the Name of the Lord after seven years He had compassion upon him and brought him back in repentance. And the kingdom of BABYLON was his, and it belonged to those who were of his seed forever.
The King of PERSIA
The King of PERSIA is likewise of the seed of Shem, and we will inform you concerning the matters that relate to him. JUDAH begot two sons, and he brought in TĔ‛MÂR(TAMAR) for his eldest son, and he died. And JUDAH sent his younger son to her that he might raise up seed to his brother by his brother’s wife. And he did that which God hated, and he did not wish to raise up seed to his brother as his father JUDAH had commanded him. Now when he lay with TAMAR he made his seed to go into the ground so that it might not germinate in her womb and be called the seed of his brother, but he wished to raise up seed by his own wife in his own name. And when God saw his evil act He turned His face away from him and slew him. And JUDAH, the father-in-law of TAMAR, brought her back, and set her in the house of her father, and said unto her kinsfolk, “Keep carefully this Israelitish woman and let her not defile herself with an alien.
For I have a little son, and if God will let him grow up I will give him to her.” And whilst TAMAR was living as a widow in her father’s house, behold, JUDAH her father-in-law came to the place where his sheepfolds were to shear wool with great satisfaction and pleasure. And when TAMAR heard that her father-in-law had come, she cast away from her the apparel of widowhood, and she put herself in splendid apparel, and she veiled herself after the manner of a harlot, and she followed him and sat down. And he sent a message to her, saying, “I wish to company with thee.” And she said unto him, “What wilt thou give me for my hire?” And he said unto her, “I will send to thee in the morning early a sucking lamb”; and she said unto him, “Give me a pledge until thou givest me the lamb.” And he gave her [his] staff, and ring, and the close-fitting cap that was under his headdress. And he companied with her, and she took [the things] and departed unto her house. And he sent the lamb unto her early in the morning. And his servants enquired and said, “Where is the house of the harlot?” And they said unto him, “There is no harlot in our town”; and they returned into their city and told him that there was no harlot in their town. And JUDAH said, “Leave ye [it]; the Will of God be done.”
Then TAMAR conceived and they told her father-in-law that she had conceived. And he went and took the elders of Israel to the father of TAMAR, and he said unto him, “Bring to me thy daughter who hath conceived that we may stone her with stones even as Moses commanded, for she hath brought reproach upon the house of Israel.” And the father and kinsfolk of TAMAR told her that her father-in-law spake thus. And she brought out the ring, and the staff, and the cap, and gave [them] to her father and her kinsfolk, and she said unto them, “The owner of these things hath seduced me; let them stone me with him with stones.” And when JUDAH saw his possessions he recognized [them] and he said, “TAMAR is more righteous than I”; and he left her and came to his house. And TAMAR brought forth twins, two nations, FÂRÊS (PEREZ) and ZÂRÂ. And FÂRS (PERSIA) was founded in the name of FÂRÊS, and he ruled over it and his seed after him, and they were called “FARASÂWÎYÂN” (PERSIANS). Behold now, it is proved that the King of PERSIA is of the seed of Shem.
The King of MOAB
The King of MOAB is of the seed of Shem, and we will inform you how this hath come to pass. When God made Abraham to depart from his father’s country into the land of KÂRÂN (HARRAN), He made LOT to pass over into the land of SODOM and GOMORRAH. And when God wished to blot out the people of SODOM and GOMORRAH, He sent His Angels MICHAEL and GABRIEL to bring out LOT and to burn up the cities of SODOM and GOMORRAH; and they destroyed them and brought out LOT with his children. And his wife turned around so that she might see the city of her father and her mother. Now the wrath of God came down on the city of SODOM [in the form of] a rain of fire from heaven, which burned up mountains, and hills, and stones, and earth. And lightning, and forked flashes of lightning, and peals of thunder came down mingled with the crashing of the wrath of God, and a cloud of fire which made the heat to emit smoke. And when all this uproar was being heard the Angels said unto LOT, “Turn not round after ye have gone forth from the city, turn not round that ye die not the death.” But when ’AḲMÂBÂ, the wife of LOT, heard this, she turned around, and she became a pillar of salt, and she existeth to this day, to this very day.
As for LOT, God made him dwell in the mountains of ARARAT. And he planted a new vineyard, and his daughters made their father to drink wine, and they plotted a wicked plot, and they said, “How (i.e., why) shall the possession of our father be wasted (or, blotted out)? Our mother hath been destroyed on the road, and there is no one to marry us here.” And they made their father drunk, and his elder daughter lay with him whilst his mind was clouded with wine, and LOT the righteous man did not know when his daughter lay with him and when she rose up from him, for his mind was clouded with strong drink. And NOAH was drunk and naked before his wife and children, and he cursed his son who laughed at him; and [the act of lying with his daughter] was not reckoned against LOT as sin, for he did it unknowingly. And his elder daughter conceived and brought forth a child, and she called him “MOAB“, which is, being interpreted, “From my father on my knee”. And he was the father of the MOABITES and the AGARENES. Behold now, it is clear that the King of MOAB is of the seed of Shem.
The King of AMALEK
It came to pass that when the elder daughter of LOT had brought forth her son, she said unto the younger daughter, “Come now, let us make our father drink wine so that thou also mayest company with him that, peradventure, thou mayest get offspring.” And again they prepared wine, and again they spoke to him the words of foolishness, and said unto him, “Drink wine, O our father, so that thy heart may be comforted”; and he, the simple man, drank and became drunk. And again, when he had drunk and his mind was clouded with wine, the younger daughter came and lay with him, and again he did not know of her lying with him, or of her rising up from him. And she also conceived and gave birth to a son, and she called his name “AMMON“, and he is the father of the AMALEKITES. Behold now, it is clear that the King of AMALEK is of the seed of Shem.
The King of the PHILISTINES
Behold, the seed of SAMSON reigned over the PHILISTINES. And SAMSON was of the seed of DAN, [one] of the twelve sons of Jacob, and he was the son of a handmaiden of JACOB; and we will inform you how this SAMSON came into being. The Angel of the Lord appeared to the mother of SAMSON and said unto her, “Keep thyself from all pollution, and company with no man except thy husband, for he who shall be born of thee, shall be a NAZARITE, holy to the Lord, and he shall be the deliverer of Israel from the hand of the PHILISTINES.” And then she brought forth SAMSON. And again the Angel appeared unto her and said unto her, “Thou shalt not let a razor go upon his head, and he shall neither eat flesh nor [drink] wine, and he shall marry no strange woman but only a woman of his own kin and from the house of his father.” And how God gave him strength ye have heard in the Book of JUDGES. But he transgressed the commandment of God, and came and married a daughter of the uncircumcised PHILISTINES. And because of this God was wroth, and He delivered him into the hands of men of the uncircumcised PHILISTINES, and they blinded his eyes, and they made him act the buffoon in the house of their king. And he pulled the roof down upon them, and slew seven hundred thousand of them, and during his life, he slew seven hundred thousand of them with iron, and stone, and [his] staff, and the jaw-bone of an ass. For their number was as that of the locusts until he released ISRAEL from the service of the PHILISTINES.
Then DALÎLÂ (DELILAH) conceived by SAMSON, and whilst she was with child SAMSON died with the PHILISTINES, and DELILAH brought forth a son and she called his name “MENAHEM“, which is, being interpreted, “Seed of the strong man”. Now DELILAH was the sister of MAKSÂBÂ, the wife of the King of the PHILISTINES, and when SAMSONslew the King of the PHILISTINES in the house with his people and his household, and he died with him, DELILAH went to her sister MAKSÂBÂ, the Queen of the PHILISTINES. Now both women were beautiful, and they had no children, but both had conceived; MAKSÂBÂ had been with child six months by ḲWÔLÂSÔN, the King of the PHILISTINES, and DELILAH had been with child four months by SAMSON, and the husbands of both were dead. And the two women loved each other exceedingly.
Their love for each other was not like the love of sisters, but like that of the mother for the child, and of the child for the mother; even so was their love. And they lived together. And the dominion over those who were left of the slaughter [made] by SAMSON in the house of the king was in the hands of MAKSÂBÂ, for none of the mighty men of war of the kingdom of the PHILISTINESwere left, and therefore MAKSÂBÂ ruled over those that were left. And they spake unto her morning and evening, saying, “We have no other king except thyself, and except that one that shall go forth from thy belly. If our Lord DÂGÔN will do a favor unto us that which is in thy belly shall be a son, who shall reverence our god DÂGÔN and shall reign over us. And if it is a daughter we will make her to reign over us, so that thy name and the name of ḲWÔLÂSÔN our Lord shall be your memorial over us.”
Then MAKSÂBÂ brought forth a man-child and all the men of the PHILISTINES rejoiced, and they did homage to her and sang, saying, “DÂGÔN and BÊL have honored her and loved MAKSÂBÂ, and the seed of ḲWÔLÂSÔN is found again from MAKSÂBÂ.” And DELILAH also bore a son, and the two women brought up the children in great state and dignity. And when the children were five years old they ate and played together before them, and the mothers made garments of costly stuff for them, and [set] daggers above their loins, and chains on their necks. And the people seated the son of MAKSÂBÂ on the throne of his father and made him king over the PHILISTINES.