The Kebra Nagast, by E.A.W. Budge, , at sacred-texts.com
As David prophesied by the mouth of the Holy Spirit, saying, "With Thee was the headship on the day of might." 1 Now what do these words, "day of might" mean? Is it not the day whereon Christ, the Word of the Father, created heaven and earth? For Moses saith in the beginning of the Book, "In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth." 2 Understand then "In the beginning" meaneth "in Christ"; the interpretation of "beginning" is Christ. John the Apostle, the son of Zebedee, saith concerning Christ, "This is the first (or, beginning) Whom we have heard and seen, Whom we have known, and Whom our hands have felt." 3 And we will relate unto you how we have a portion with Him, and ye who believe our words shall have a portion with us. And Luke the disciple saith in the Acts of the Apostles, "In the beginning we make speech concerning everything," 4 and this that he saith [sheweth] that Christ was the redemption of all, and we believe in Him. And Mark the Evangelist in the beginning of his Book wrote, saying, "The beginning of the Gospel is Jesus Christ, the Son of God" 5; and these words mean that Christ was the glad tidings for the Prophets and the Apostles, and that we all have participated in His grace. And again John the Evangelist wrote, saying, "In the beginning was the Word, and that Word was with God"; and in another place his word showeth [this] plainly, and he saith, "And likewise in the beginning was God the Word." 6 And now observe that that Word of the Father is Christ, whereby He made the heavens and the earth and every created thing. It is He Who created, and without Him nothing that came came into being,
nothing whatsoever: "He spake, and they came into being; He commanded, and they were created." 1 And the third glorious thing, hearken [to it]: "Through the breath of His mouth He created all their host." 2 This maketh manifest the Holy Spirit, Who is clearly referred to.
And what shall we say? Let us weep for them. Woe be unto the Jews and unto the pagans (’Aramî) who have wandered from the truth and have refused to submit to the love of God, with which in His goodness He hath loved man. For after Adam was rejected through his sin He saved him by the greatness of His mercy, being crucified on the wood of the Cross, His hands being pierced with nails. With His palm stretched out in humility, and His head bowed on one side, for our sakes He, to Whom suffering was unfitting. suffered in the everlasting majesty of His Godhead. He died that He might destroy death; He suffered exhaustion that He might give strength to the wearied being of dust; athirst He drank vinegar, He was crowned with a crown of thorns; He feared not and was not ashamed of the contumely and hatred and spitting of the polluted Jews. He suffered beating, He was buffeted with fists, He was pierced, He was transfixed with nails, He was reviled and mocked, being God and the King of Death, and the Bestower of glory, and because of this He endured patiently all disgrace. Wearied and miserable, they made Him sad when they rejected Him and hated Him; but strong and glorious, what could sadden Him when they brought false charges against Him? For He Himself knew His Godhead, and He knew His glory, and He knew Himself. And there was none who knew Him, for He was the Creator of everything. And if they had known Him they would not have crucified the Lord of praise (or, glory). And He said in His mercy, "Forgive them, Father, for they
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Plate XXVI. How the Jews crucified our Lord.
Plate XXVI. How the Jews crucified our Lord. The Virgin Mary stands on His right and St. John on His left. Between the Virgin and the Cross stands Longinus, the soldier who pierced our Lord's side. The Crusaders are said to have found the body of Longinus in the church of St. Peter at Antioch in the XIth Century.
know not what they do." 1 They likened their Creator to something that had been created, and they slew a sojourner who did not belong to mortal creatures, and He was not a thing that had been made with the hand. But He Himself was the Maker, and He Himself was the Creator, Light of Light, God of God, Son of the Father, Jesus Christ.
He was the Refuge, He was the Feeder, He was the Director; He, Whose domain was above what is on high, and above everything, abased Himself. Even as Isaiah, the man of keen words among the Prophets, saith, "He was a humble man, and His appearance was rejected, like a root He hid Himself in parched ground, He came in the flesh, a being of the earth, [though He was] the Sustainer of the universe and the Saviour of the universe." 2 And David ascribeth beauty to Him, saying, "On Thy beauty 3 and in Thy goodliness of form." And again he saith, "His form is more goodly than that of the children of men." And again he saith, "Graciousness is poured forth from Thy lips." And again he saith, "Direct aright with prosperity, and reign through righteousness, and justice, and sincerity." 4 And again he saith concerning the Jews, the enemies of the truth, "Thine arrows are sharp and strong in the hearts of the haters of the King"; 5 "it is right that they should transfix their hearts," He saith "unto those who did not wish Me to be King, and they shall be brought before Me and pierced" [with spears]. And again Isaiah saith concerning the Jews, "I have sought for them and found them not; I have called unto them and they have not answered Me; I have loved them and they have hated Me." 6 And again David saith, "They returned unto me evil for good, and they hated me in return for my love for them." 7 And again
[paragraph continues] Isaiah saith, "With their lips they profess love for Me, but in their hearts they keep afar from Me and their worshipping of Me is an empty thing." 1 And as Moses saith, "They have moved Me to wrath with their gods, and I will move them to jealousy with that which is not a nation, for they are a people whose counsel is destroyed." 2
And those who said, "We have no Law," unto them hath the Law been given, for God is the Giver of the Law unto every one. And God rewarded the Jews according to their wickedness, and He treated the Gentiles according to their simplicity. For He is merciful and compassionate to those who call upon Him and who take refuge in Him, and who purify themselves from all uncleanness in the Church and in the Tabernacle of the Law of God; and He loveth those who weep and repent even as Stephen, [One] of the Seventy Disciples saith. 3 Now among the Seventy Disciples there were seven who were chosen for service with the Twelve Apostles, to perform service with Sins, and Barnabas, and Mark and Luke and Paul. And this Stephen spake unto the Jews whilst he was standing up to martyrdom and the Jews were killing him, and said unto them as he showed them their folly in not having kept the commandment of God, "Ye have not kept the Tôrâh according to the ordinance of the angels, as ye received it." And it saith in the Acts [of the Apostles], "When they heard this they went mad with anger and gnashed their teeth." 4 Now hearken ye unto me. In his saying "Ye have not kept the Tôrâh according to the order of the angels," [we have] a form and a [fore] shadowing of what is in the heavens that is to say, the heavenly and free Jerusalem, the habitation of the Most High, whereof the situation and construction are incomprehensible to mortal heart. And in it is the
throne of the Most High, which is surrounded with fire, and four beasts bear it in their place, which is the sixth heaven. And a throne goeth up to the seventh heaven, the habitation of the Father, and there dwelleth He Who is with His Father and the Holy Spirit, Who vivifieth everything. And the Tabernacle of the Church is a similitude of the Jerusalem which is in the heavens, and the Church of the Gentiles is a similitude of the Jerusalem which is in the heavens.
191:1 Psalm cx, 3.
191:2 Genesis i, 1.
191:3 John i, 1 ff.
191:4 Acts i.
191:5 Mark i, 1.
191:6 John i, 1–3; 1 John i, 1.
192:1 Psalm xxxiii, 9.
192:2 Psalm xxxiii, 6.
193:1 Luke xxiii, 34.
193:2 Isaiah liii, 2 ff.
193:3 Psalm l, 2.
193:4 Psalm xlv.
193:5 Compare Psalms xlv, 5; lviii, 7.
193:6 Isaiah xlv, 12.
193:7 Psalm cix, 5.
194:1 Isaiah xxix, 13.
194:2 Deuteronomy xxxii, 21, 28.
194:3 Compare Acts vi, 3; vii, 34.
194:4 Acts vii, 53, 54.