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THE PROPHECY OF ZÂRÂDÔSHT CONCERNING OUR LORD.
THIS Zârâdôsht is Baruch the scribe. When he was sitting by the fountain of water called Glôshâ of Hôrîn, where the royal bath had been erected, he said to his disciples, the king Gûshnâsâph2 and Sâsân and Mahîmad, 'Hear, my beloved children, for I will reveal to you a mystery concerning the great King who is about to rise upon the world. At the end of time, and at the final dissolution, a child shall be conceived in the womb of a virgin, and shall be formed in her members, without any man approaching her. And he shall be like a tree with beautiful foliage and laden with fruit, standing in a parched land; and the inhabitants of that land shall be gathered together3 to uproot it from the earth, but shall not be able. Then they will take him and crucify him upon a tree, and heaven and earth shall sit in mourning for his sake; and all the families of the nations shall be in grief for him. He will begin to go down to the depths of the earth, and from the depth he will be exalted to the height; then he will come with the armies of light, and be borne aloft upon white clouds; for he is a child conceived by the Word which establishes natures.' Gûshnâsâph says to him, 'Whence has this one, of whom thou sayest these things, his power? Is he greater than thou, or art thou greater than he?' Zârâdôsht says to him, 'He shall descend from my family; I am he, and he is I; he is in me, and I am in him. When the beginning p. 82 of his coming appears, mighty signs will be seen in heaven, and his light shall surpass that of the sun. But ye, sons of the seed of life, who have come forth from the treasuries of life and light and spirit, and have been sown in the land of fire and water, for you it is meet to watch and take heed to these things which I have spoken to you, that ye await his coming; for you will be the first to perceive the coming of that great king, whom the prisoners await to be set free. Now, my sons, guard this secret which I have revealed to you, and let it be kept in the treasure-houses of your souls. And when that star rises of which I have spoken, let ambassadors bearing offerings be sent by you, and let them offer worship to him. Watch, and take heed, and despise him not, that he destroy you not with the sword; for he is the king of kings, and all kings receive their crowns from him. He and I are one.' These are the things which were spoken by this second Balaam, and God, according to His custom, compelled him to interpret these things; or he sprang from a people who were acquainted with the prophecies1 concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, and declared them aforetime.
1 In the Oxford MS. chap. xli.
2 Or rather, Gushnasp.
3 Or, according to another reading, shall strive with one another.
1 See Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, Theil ii, pp. 439, 440, and 905.