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sifra   dišúa‘   nebiya

ha-séifer y’shúa‘ ha-n’vi

(THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET YESHUA‘)

Book One

1.      1In the twelfth year of the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, Herod Antipas being the tetrarch of Galilee; 2and in the ninth year of the High Priest Yosef Qayafas, Pontius Pilatus being the new prefect of Judea, 3the word of the Most High came to Yeshua`, son of Yosef the craftsman of Nazareth. 4He obeyed the word of God, and spoke to the people of Galilee and Judea about the good news of the kingdom of God, 5and he exhorted them to walk in God's paths, and away from the paths of destruction.

2.      1Yeshua` said, ‘To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like a great wedding feast a certain king ordered to be prepared. And when it was finished, he sent his servants to call the wedding guests to the feast. But they did not wish to come.

           2So he sent them back, saying, “Tell those who have been invited that I’ve prepared my table for them; my oxen and fattened livestock have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the feast.”

           3‘So his servants went and did as the king had commanded them. They went to the first and said, “Come, my master invites you.” 4But this one said, “I’ve got claims against some merchants. They’re coming to me this evening, and I must go to give them my orders. I ask to be excused from the feast.”

           5‘So the servants went to a second, and said to him, “Come, my master’s invited you.” 6But this one said, “I’ve just bought a house, and I’m required for the day. I won’t have any spare time.”

           7‘So the servants went to a third, and said to him, “Come, my master invites you.” 8But this one said, “I’ve leased out a farm, and I’m on my way to collect the rent. I won’t be able to come. I ask to be excused.” And so it was with all the others.

           9‘So the servants returned to their lord the king, and said, “Those whom you invited asked to be excused.” 10And the king said to them, “Go then to the street corners, and invite anyone you find, so that they might come instead.”

           11‘So the servants went to the street corners, and called to all to come – the poor and the lowly, the blind and the lame – and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

                  12‘Believe me I tell you, the rich and the wealthy are too busy for the kingdom of God.’

3.      1Yeshua` said to his followers,

2‘Blessed are the humble in spirit, because theirs is the kingdom of God.

         Blessed are the meek, because they shall inherit the Land.

3Blessed are they who mourn, because they shall be comforted.

         Blessed are they who weep, because they shall laugh.

4Blessed are the merciful, because they shall obtain mercy.

         Blessed are the innocent of heart, because they shall be shown into the presence of God.

5Blessed are they who hunger, because they shall be well fed.

         Blessed are they who thirst, because they shall be satisfied.

6Blessed are they who create peace, because they shall be called the children of God.

         Blessed are they who are persecuted for striving after justice, because theirs is the kingdom of God.

7Blessed are you when people reject you and malign you, because our ancestors did no less to the prophets.

         8Rejoice! Dance for joy! Because remember, your reward in heaven is great.’

4.      1An excited voice called out, and a woman from the crowd said to Yeshua`, ‘How fortunate the womb that carried you, and the breasts that nursed you!’

           2But he said to her, ‘Rather, fortunate are those who hear the message of God, and pay careful attention to it! 3Because the terrible day will come when you’ll cry out, “How fortunate the womb that never conceived, and the breasts that never gave milk!”’

5.      1Yeshua` went about Galilee, warning his fellow countrymen and women of the terrible destruction to come, just as the word of God had instructed him to do. 2And from that time on, he began to speak out publicly, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdomof God is at hand!’

         3But a woman came up to Yeshua` and said, ‘Why do you prophesy these things? Why do you tell us what isn’t true?’

         4So Yeshua` said to her, ‘When it’s evening, you say, “It’ll be fair weather, because the sky’s red.” And in the morning, “It’ll be stormy today, because the sky’s red and overcast.” 5You know how to interpret the signs in the sky, but you can’t interpret the signs of the times.’

 

6.      1A man shouted out to Yeshua`, ‘How will we know what you say is true? Give us a sign from the heavens!’ 2But he said to the people, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, “A shower’s coming,” and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, “There’ll be a scorching heat,” and it happens. 3Blind watchmen! How is it you know how to read the signs of the earth, yet you can’t read the signs of our time?’

7.      1There was a young man whose father was a Zealot. He was part of a feared band around Galilee, which fought to speed the coming of the kingdom of the son of David everywhere they went. 2His father had been killed that very morning while leading an attack upon the Romans. 3While still in his grief and anger, his father’s companions tried to persuade him to take his father’s place among them, threatening to take his life if he did not. 4His family feared for him, so this young man came to Yeshua` for counsel. After explaining his situation, he said to him, 5‘Master, I will follow you, but first let me go and bury my father.’

         6Yeshua` was sorrowful that the young man had lost his father, but also feared that the man’s life was in danger. So he spoke firmly of the Zealots and said, 7‘Leave the Dead to bury their own dead!’ 8Then he consoled the man over the memory of his father. He advised the young man to abandon his father’s violent quest to bring about the kingdom of David, and finally said, 9‘Follow me, and proclaim the kingdom of God everywhere you go.’

         10However, when the Zealots came to hear of what Yeshua` had done to save the young man from them, 11they began to hate him, and plotted against him, so that they might seize him by stealth and kill him. 12But in the Galilee the people revered him as a prophet. 13The Zealots tried to have one of their daggermen secretly assassinate him, 14but Yeshua` already stayed away from large cities and big crowds for fear of Antipas’s men and the Herodians. 15So therefore in the Galilee, there was nothing they could do to make him suffer the same fate as the Immerser. 16However, whenever Yeshua` travelled to Jerusalem for the appointed Festivals, the Zealots spread false stories that he was the Son of David, so that the Romans might arrest him and crucify him.

8.      1When Yeshua` saw that the hearts of the Zealots and of certain Torah scholars were stubborn, and how hypocrites, the rich and the selfish refused to turn from their wicked ways, 2Yeshua` recalled the prophecies of Malachi and cried out, ‘Would that I could bring fire to this land! Would that it were already burning!’

9.      1People said to Yeshua`, ‘See how the people follow you and marvel, saying, “You are the messiah.” 2But Yeshua` raised his eyes to heaven in frustration and said, ‘O Heavenly Father, there are many around the drinking trough, but there’s nothing in the cistern.’

10.    1People said to Yeshua`, ‘The followers of Yochanan and the followers of the Pharisees are more virtuous than your followers, because they fast often, and yours don’t.’ 2So Yeshua` said to them, ‘Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, when their bridegroom’s with them? 3But believe me I tell you, the days will come when the bridechamber’s taken from them, and then the children will fast!’

11.    1Yeshua` was speaking to the people about teachings that would lead people away from the kingdom of God, 2when two of Yochanan’s emissaries approached him and said, ‘Teacher, then what do you say of our Master, Yochanan?

           3Now, they had spoken like this to him, because it was not widely known that Yeshua` had once been a follower of the Immerser.

           4So Yeshua` considered carefully, and answered them, saying, ‘How fortunate is he who isn’t scandalised by my words! Because his eyes see, and his ears hear.’

12.    1Yeshua` began to speak to the crowds about Yochanan. ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed agitated by the wind? 2Then what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fancy clothes? Well, those who wear fancy clothes live in royal courts! 3So what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one of whom it was written, “Behold, I will send the prophet Eliyah to you before the great and terrible day of our God comes.” 4Believe me I tell you, among those born of women, no one alive today is greater than Yochanan.’

13.    1There were many who spoke of new ways of piety, but Yeshua` spoke to his followers of the teaching given to our ancestors at Sinai and said, 2‘No one sews a piece of new cloth onto an old garment. 3If he does, the new will tear the old, and a worse hole is made.’

14.    1Yeshua` said, ‘No one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new will burst the old, and the skins will be ruined. 2And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, because he says, “The old is good enough”.’

15.    1Yeshua` said to the people, ‘Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, 2and a house divided against itself will fall.’

16.    1There were some who believed themselves to be virtuous in the eyes of God, yet despised others. 2Yeshua` told them this parable. ‘Two men went up into the Temple to pray, one a Torah scholar and the other a tax collector. 3The Torah scholar stood and prayed in his heart, “I thank you God, that I’m not like other people – thieving, unjust, adulterous, or even like this tax collector. 4I fast twice a week, and I give tithes of everything I get.”

           5But the tax collector stood at a distance, and wouldn’t even lift his eyes to heaven, but beat his chest, saying, “God have mercy on me, a sinner!” 6I tell you, this man rather than the other, went home reconciled to God.’

17.    1There were some who were hypocrites, and judged others without examining their own actions first. 2Yeshua` said to them, ‘Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye, but don’t notice the plank in your own eye? 3Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the splinter in your eye,” when you don’t see the plank in your own eye? 4You hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you’ll see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.’

18.    1There was a certain man who was vain and exalted himself, and exclaimed with pride that he worked for the kingdom of God, comparing himself to salt.

         2But Yeshua` warned him and said, ‘Salt is good, but if the salt’s lost its usefulness, how will its usefulness be restored? 3Then it’s not fit for anything – neither the soil nor the dung heap – and people throw it away and trample it underfoot.’

19.    1Yeshua said, ‘Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, 2and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.’

20.    1People asked Yeshua` ‘When will the kingdom come?’ 2But Yeshua` said to them, ‘The kingdom of God won’t come by watching and waiting for it. Nor will people say, “Here it is!” or “There it is!” 3Because the kingdom of God is within you.’

21.    1Yeshua` said, ‘If people say to you, “Look, the kingdom of God is in the sky,” then the birds will have got there before you. 2If they say, “It’s in the sea,” then the fish will have got there before you. 3Rather, the kingdom of God is within you, and all around you.’

22.    1Yeshua` said, ‘The kingdom of God is like a hoard of money hidden in a field. While ploughing, a man found it. 2He immediately covered it up again, and then in his joy went and sold every last possession in order to buy that field.’

23.    1Yeshua` said, ‘The kingdom of God is like a pearl of great value, which a merchant found while examining a consignment of goods. 2He went and sold everything he owned. 3Then he came back and bought the whole consignment, in order that he might have the one pearl.’

24.    1There was a sectary who was speaking to the people, saying, 2‘The House of Israel shall grow like a mighty cedar planted on a high mountain, and the nations of the earth shall pay homage and dwell like eagles in its branches.’ 3But Yeshua` said, ‘To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?

           4It’s like the tiny mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. 5It grew and became a bush, and little birds sheltered under its branches.’

           6And Yeshua`’s followers laughed.

25.    1Yeshua`s followers said to him, ‘How will the kingdom of God come?’ 2And Yeshua` said to them, ‘The kingdom of God is like a little yeast that a woman took and hid in three sata of flour. 3Eventually all the flour was leavened.’

26.    1Yeshua` said, ‘A sower went out to sow his seed. 2As he scattered the seed, some fell by the path, and little birds came and devoured them.

           3Other seed fell on rocky ground where there was not much soil. And they grew quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered away because they didn’t have much root.

           4And other seed fell among thorns, and as they grew, the thorns choked them.

           5Still others fell on good soil, and yielded a good harvest, 6producing one hundred and twenty times their original measure.’

27.    1A poor man came to Yeshua` and revealed to him his new understanding of the kingdom of God.

           2And Yeshua` proclaimed, ‘Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear! 3Believe me I tell you, many sages and kings have longed to see what you see, but couldn’t, and hear what you hear, but couldn’t!’

28.    1There was a Zealot who proclaimed that tax collectors and others who worked with the Romans had set themselves outside of God’s people, 2and that God would never forgive them for what they had done. 3Yeshua` entreated him, but the Zealot said, 4‘We have kept God’s covenant, but they have broken it; why should they ever be forgiven?’

           5So Yeshua` said, ‘There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, 6“Father, give me the share of the property that will come to me.” 7And so the father divided his resources between them.

           8Not long after that, the younger son gathered together everything he had, and took himself off to a country far away, and there he squandered his property in riotous living.

           9And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be without. 10So he went and hired himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 11And he would gladly have fed on the carob husks that the pigs ate, because no one gave him anything.

           12So he came to his senses and he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have enough food and more to spare, and here I am starving to death! 13I’ll get up and go to my father and I’ll say to him, 14‘Father, I’ve sinned against God and shamed you; I’m no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants’.”

           15And he got up and returned to his father. 16But while he was still at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion on him, 17so he ran and threw his arms around him and kissed him.

           18And the son said, “Father, I’ve sinned against God and shamed you; I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.”

           19But the father said to his servants, “Quick, bring the best tunic, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and sandals on his feet; 20and bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 21because this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” And they began to celebrate.

           22Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 23So he called one of the servant boys and asked what this meant. 24And the servant boy said to him, “Your brother’s come back, and your father’s killed the fattened calf, because he’s got him back safe and sound.”

           25But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, 26“Look, all these years I’ve served you, and I never disobeyed your orders, yet you never even gave me so much as a kid-goat, so that I could celebrate with my friends. 27But when this son of yours returns, who’s squandered your resources on prostitutes, you go and kill the fattened calf for him!”

           28So his father said to him, “My son, you’re always with me, and all that’s mine is yours. 29But it was right to celebrate and be glad, because this your brother was dead, and now he’s alive; he was lost, and now he’s found.” ’

29.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Suppose a woman has ten silver denarii, and loses one. 2Doesn’t she light a lamp and sweep the whole house, and search meticulously until she finds it? 3And when she’s found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, 4“Rejoice with me, because I’ve found the coin that I’d lost.” 5In the same way, I tell you, there’s rejoicing in heaven over the sinner who returns to God’s ways.’

30.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Suppose a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine on the hillside, and go in search of the one that went astray? 2And when he finds it, he lays it across his shoulders, and I tell you he rejoices over it more than the other ninety-nine that never went astray.’

31.    1Yeshua` said, ‘There was a landlord who wished to settle his accounts with his servants. 2When he began his calculations, one servant was brought to him who owed him ten thousand kikkarin, and as he couldn’t pay, his master ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all that he had, so that he could recover his money. 3So the servant fell on his knees, saying, “Master, have patience with me, and I’ll repay you everything.” 4And out of pity for him, his master released him and cancelled his debt.

           5But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him one hundred denarii. 6Seizing him by the throat he said, “Pay me what you owe me.” 7So his fellow servant fell down on his face and begged him, “Have patience with me, and I’ll pay you.” 8The first servant refused and had him put in prison until such time as the debt would’ve been paid off.

           9When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went to report to their master everything that had happened. 10So his master summoned him and said, “You wicked servant! I cancelled your whole debt because you pleaded with me. 11Shouldn’t you have shown mercy to your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?”

           12And in anger, his master delivered him over to the jailers, and had him put in prison until such time as his debt would’ve been paid off.’

32.    1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘If you’ve got money, don’t lend it at interest. 2Better still, give it to someone from whom you won’t get anything back at all.’

33.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Give to anyone who asks you for something on loan; don’t turn away someone who wishes to borrow from you.’

34.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Be merciful, just as your heavenly Father is merciful. 2For doesn’t God who made the sun, cause it to rise on both the evil and the good? 3Doesn’t God send the rain, which He has made, to fall upon the righteous and the unrighteous? 4So, just as God is kind to both the good as well as the ungrateful, do the same, so that you may be called the children of the Most High.’

35.    1Yeshua` said, ‘When you stand praying, forgive anything you have against anyone, so that your heavenly Father may also forgive you your sins. 2For if you forgive others their offences, how much more so will your heavenly Father forgive you!’

36.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Ask, and it’ll be given to you; look, and you’ll find; knock, and it’ll be opened to you. 2Because everyone who asks receives, and whoever looks finds, and to whomever knocks it’ll be opened.’

37.    1Yeshua` said, ‘What father among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 2Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 3If you then, who are imperfect, know how to give good things to your children, how much more so will your Father in heaven, who is perfect, give you good things when His children ask Him!’

38.    1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, 2“Friend, lend me three loaves; because a friend of mine’s arrived on a journey, and I’ve got nothing to offer him.” 3And the one inside answers, “Don’t bother me; the door’s locked now, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.” 4Believe me I tell you, although he won’t get up and give him anything because he’s his friend, still because of the man’s boldness he’ll get up and give him whatever he needs.’

39.    1Yeshua` told his followers this parable, so that they would always pray and not lose heart. 2He said to them, ‘There was this city where there was a judge who neither revered God nor had any regard for other people. 3And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my adversary.” 4For a while he refused, but afterwards he said to himself, 5“I know I don’t fear God and I don’t really care about other people, but because this widow keeps bothering me, I’ll grant her a favourable decision, or she’ll keep coming back until she wears me out!”

           6So if an unjust judge will grant justice to someone who keeps on pleading with him, how much more so will your heavenly Father grant justice to his children, who cry out to him day and night!’

40.    1Yeshua` was praying in a certain place, and when he paused, one of his followers said to him, 2‘Master, teach us how to pray, in the same way that Yochanan taught his followers.

           3And so he said to them, ‘When you pray each morning, say, 4“Our Father, who is in heaven, may your Name be sanctified! May your kingdom come; may your will come about, just as it is in heaven, so also upon the earth.

           5“Our bread, which is from the earth, give us day by day; and forgive us our sins, just as we should forgive our debtors; and don’t bring us to trial, rather deliver us from evil.” ’

41.    1Each day, God saw the labours and worries of His people; He was mindful of them and had compassion on them. 2So God called upon Yeshua` to say to His people, ‘Believe me I tell you, don’t worry about your life, about what you’ll eat or drink, or about your body, about what you’ll wear. 3Because life’s more than just food and drink, and the body more than just clothes.’

42.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Look at the birds of the sky; they neither sow nor reap, nor gather their grain into granaries, and yet our heavenly Father feeds them. 2How much more so will God feed you!’

43.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Who of you by worrying can add a single cubit to the length of their days? 2If you aren’t able to do as small a thing as that, why be anxious about greater things?’

44.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Why worry about clothes? See the wild flowers, how they clothe the grass. 2The grass neither cards nor spins, yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like that! 3So if that’s how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more so will God clothe you!’

45.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t be anxious, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” 2Because even the Gentiles look for these things, and yet your heavenly Father knows that they need them all.

           3Rather, look for the kingdom of God, and you’ll see, all these things will be yours as well.’

46.    1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘Aren’t five sparrows sold for just two assaria? 2And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without God knowing about it! 3Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 4So don’t be afraid – you’re worth more than many sparrows!’

47.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. 2Let each day’s trouble be enough for that day.’

48.    1Yeshua` said, ‘No servant can serve two masters; because they’ll either hate the first and love the second, or they’ll be devoted to the first and despise the second. 2In the same way you can’t serve both God and wealth.

49.         1Yeshua told this parable, saying, ‘The estate of a certain rich man produced a plentiful crop. 2He said, “I sow, I plant and reap, and as a result I want for nothing. 3But what shall I do, because I haven’t anywhere to gather all of my produce in one place?”

           4So he thought to himself and said, “This is what I’ll do: I’ll pull down my storehouses, and I’ll build bigger ones! I’ll gather up all my wheat and goods there, 5and I’ll say to myself, ‘Self, you have enough laid by for many years.
Take it easy, eat, drink and enjoy yourself.’ ”

           6Such were his intentions, but that same night he died. 7Of what service was his wealth to him then?

50.    1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘How hard it is for the rich to find the kingdom of God! 2It’s easier to thread a rafter through the eye of a needle, than to bring a rich person into the kingdom of God!’

51.    1Yeshua` saw how many people were taken with the ways of the Zealots, and how easily they listened to them. 2So Yeshua` said, ‘Strive to enter by the narrow door; because the door that leads to destruction is wide, and the way is easy, and those who enter by it are many. 3But the way that leads to life is narrow, and the way is hard, and those who enter by it are few.’

52.    1Yeshua` saw how many people were following sectaries who spoke out of the vanities of their own hearts, and not out of reverence for God, 2so Yeshua` said to the people, ‘Each tree is known by its fruit. 3A bad tree doesn’t bear good fruit, any more than a good tree can bear bad fruit. 4Are figs gathered from thistles? Or grapes picked from a thornbush? 5Beware therefore, because by their fruits you’ll know them.’

53.    1Now, there was a sectary, a hateful man, who did not like what Yeshua` taught, so he called down all kinds of calamities upon him, saying that the wrath of God would strike him dead. 2Yeshua` said, ‘The good person out of the storehouse of good in their heart brings forth good, and the evil person out of the storehouse of evil in their heart brings forth evil; 3because from the abundance of plenty in the heart, so the mouth speaks.’

54.    1Now there were sectaries who would come to Jerusalem and take advantage of the fear of the people, and the anxiety they had for the days to come.

           2And they would stand in the courts of the Temple at festival times, speaking of the end of days, that the people would all die, and would only be saved if they became their followers. 3But they were false prophets, and said these things only to gain a following, not to save the lives of the people of Judea, or out of any love for the people.

           4So Yeshua` turned to one of his own followers and quoted a proverb, saying, ‘Wherever lies the carcass, there will the vultures gather.’

55.    1There were many who performed acts of piety only so that others would praise and exalt them. 2So Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘Beware of religious phonies, who do their deeds in order to be seen by others. 3For they make their prayer-boxes broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honour at festivals and the best seats in the synagogue. 4They love to be greeted in the market place, and acknowledged when they go up to the Temple.

           5But when you do your deeds, expect no reward or salutation, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.’

56.    1Yeshua` said to the people, ‘When you fast, don’t look sombre like religious phonies do, because they put ash on their head and dirty their face, in order to show others theyre fasting and so gain their respect. 2Believe me, I tell you, thats all the reward theyre going to get!

           3Rather, when you fast, put oil on your head, and wash your face, so that it won’t be obvious to others that you’re fasting, but only to your heavenly Father, who sees whats hidden; 4and your heavenly Father, who sees what’s done in secret, will reward you.’

57.    1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘When you pray, don’t be like religious phonies, who love to pray rocking in synagogues and on street corners, only so that they’ll be seen by others, and so gain their respect. 2Believe me, I tell you, thats all the reward they’re going to get!

           3But when you pray, go into your innermost room and shut the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret places; 4and your heavenly Father who sees whats done in secret will reward you.’

58.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t be like religious phonies, who love to have memorials to their gifts in synagogues, and their charity made known to everyone in the street in order to gain their respect. 2Believe me, I tell you, thats all the reward theyre going to get!

           3But when you give alms, don’t make a fanfare about it. Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand’s doing, so that your alms may be in secret; 4and your heavenly Father who sees in secret will reward you.’

59.    1Now, there were some Torah scholars, Pharisees from the school of Shammai. 2They would teach about tithes and ritual cleanliness, as if these were the paths to true righteousness, yet their righteousness gave no honour to justice and mercy. 3And they would take money from people to renovate the tombs of the prophets, even from the poor.

           4So Yeshua` said to them, ‘Shame on you scholars, you phonies! You observe the lighter commandments of Torah, and give exact tithes of your mint and dill and cumin; 5yet you neglect the heavier commandments of Torah, which are justice and mercy! 6Blind guides! You strain to swallow a gnat, yet you swallow a camel with ease!

           7Shame on you scholars, you fraudsters! 8Because you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you’re full of greed and self-indulgence! 9Blind scholars! First cleanse the inside, and then the outside will be clean as well!

           10Shame on you scholars, you swindlers! You take money to adorn the tombs of the prophets, saying, “We wouldn’t have murdered the prophets like our ancestors did.” 11False witnesses! Because you testify against yourselves by saying you’re the sons of murderers!’

60.    1Yeshua` debated what is permitted on the Sabbath with scholars from the school of Shammai, who are harsh in their teaching, and permit not even the smallest deed.

           2But Yeshua` reminded them of a pearl from the Torah. ‘Haven’t you read what it says in the Torah? 3Because if one of your colleagues has a donkey or a farm animal that’s fallen into a pit, won’t you help him immediately to lift it out, even on the Sabbath?’

61.    1Yeshua` said to the scholars of the school of Shammai, 2‘The Sabbath was created for people, not people for the Sabbath.’

62.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Humanity has dominion even over the Sabbath.’

63.    1Now, Yeshua` said to his emissaries, ‘Off you go! See, I send you out like sheep among wolves; so be as cunning as snakes, and as innocent as doves.

           2Don’t take anything for the journey, neither staff nor side-bag; 3take no gold or silver or copper in your belts, nor food in your bag; 4take no spare sandals or extra tunics with you; and don’t stop to greet anyone along the way.

           5Go nowhere among the Gentiles, nor enter any town of the Samaritans, rather hurry to the lost sheep of Israel.

           6Whatever town or village you enter, find out who is observant there, and stay with them until you leave.

           7Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace be upon this house!” 8And if a friendly person is there, your blessing of peace will remain on that household; but if not, withdraw your blessing and move on.

           9Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide – 10“The worker deserves his wages”! Don’t go from house to house.

           11Whenever you enter a town and they accept you, eat what’s set before you.

           12And preach the good news as you go, saying, “The kingdom of God is at hand!” 13And minister to the sick, bring the Dead back to the way of life, and tend to those with skin diseases. 14You received from me without paying, therefore give without pay.

           15But whenever you enter a town and they don’t accept you, or give you any hospitality, leave that place and shake the dust from your feet in witness against them, saying, 16“I shake off the dust of your city that clings like ashes to the soles of my feet! Realise before its too late that the kingdom of God is at hand!” 17Believe me I tell you, your words will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.’

64.    1As they were going along the road, someone said to Yeshua`, ‘Teacher, I’ll follow you wherever you go.’

           2So Yeshua` said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but this son of man has nowhere to lay his head.’

65.    1Some of his emissaries said to him, ‘Shall your teaching be like that of the Essenes, who conceal some words, and reveal others?’

           2So Yeshua` said to them, ‘Whatever I tell you privately in the darkness, go say openly in the daylight. 3And whatever you hear whispered in your ear in private rooms, go proclaim publicly upon the housetops.’

66.    1Yeshua` said to his emissaries, ‘Nothing’s so covered up that it won’t be revealed, or so hidden that it won’t be made known.’

67.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t fear those who kill the body, because after that there’s nothing more they can do. 2Rather, fear that which can harm the soul within the body.’

68.    1A Zealot came up to Yeshua` with some of his colleagues, and said to him, ‘You say that we are dead, so tell us, what shall we do to live?’

           2Yeshua` said, ‘What are the two greatest commandments?’

           3And the Zealot answered, ‘“You shall love the Holy One your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.” 4And the second is: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

           5And Yeshua` said to him, ‘You have answered correctly. Do these things, and you shall live.’

           6But the Zealot, not wishing to appear defeated in front of his friends, said, 7‘So who is my neighbour? The Gentiles? The Samaritans?’ And the colleagues of the Zealot laughed with him.

           8So Yeshua` took him up on this and said, ‘There was this man going down from Jerusalem to Yericho, and he fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him and beat him up, then went away, leaving him half-dead.

           9Now, by chance this priest was going down that very same road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 10So also a Levite, when he came upon the place, saw him, and passed by on the other side.

           11But this Samaritan man, as he was going along, came upon him. And when he saw him he was filled with pity. So he went up to him, and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. 12Then he placed him on his own animal, and took him to a travellers’ lodge and cared for him.

           13The following day he took out two denarii and gave them to the lodgekeeper and said, “Look after him, and whatever extra you spend on him, I’ll repay you upon my return.”

           14Now, which of these three was neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’

           15And the Zealot said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’

           16So Yeshua` said, ‘Then go, and do the same.’

69.    1Yeshua` said, ‘To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It’s like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers to work in his vineyard. 2Agreeing to pay the labourers one denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard.

           3‘Now, going out at about the third hour, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, so he said to them, “You go into the vineyard as well, and I’ll pay you a fair wage.” And so they went.

           4‘And again, going out at about the sixth hour and the ninth hour he did the same. And about the eleventh hour, he went out and found still others standing around. 5So he says to them, “Why have you been standing here idle the whole day?”

           6‘And they say to him, “Because no one’s hired us.”

           7‘He says to them, “You go into the vineyard as well.”

           8‘So evening comes, and the owner of the vineyard says to his foreman, “Call the labourers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last and ending with the first.”

           9‘And when those hired at about the eleventh hour came forward, they received one denarius each. 10Now, when the first ones hired came forward, they thought they would receive more, but they themselves also received one denarius each.

           11‘On receiving it, they grumbled against the landowner saying, “These ones who were hired last laboured only one hour, yet you’ve made them equal to us, we who have borne the greater burden of the day and the scorching heat.”

           12‘So he answered one of them, saying, “My friend, I do you no wrong; didn’t you agree with me to work for one denarius? 13Take what’s yours and go – it is my desire to give this last man the same as I have also given you. 14Is it unlawful for me to do what I wish with what’s mine? Or are you envious because I’m generous?” ’

70.    1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘You have heard it said by the Essenes, “Love your neighbour and hate your enemy”. 2But I say to you, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who abuse you, so that you may be called the children of the Most High.

           3‘For if you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Because even tax collectors do the same!

           4‘And if you do good only to those who do good to you, what more are you doing than others? Don’t even Gentiles do the same?

           5‘And if you give to those from whom you hope to receive, what reward are you expecting? Even moneylenders give to others to receive as much again!

           6‘So I tell you, do good, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great. Because God is kind even to the ungrateful and the selfish; 7therefore be merciful, even as your heavenly Father is merciful.’

71.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t fret over evil, nor seek to get even when you are wronged. 2Instead, if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, present them with your left cheek as well! If someone sues you, and demands your cloak, give them your tunic as well! 3And if anyone conscripts you to go one mile, go with them two miles!’

72.    1There was a Zealot who was secretly going about among the people, saying, ‘Whoever loves their life and loses it against the Romans, will have life in the world to come.’

           2But Yeshua` said, ‘Whoever loves their life only loses it. But whoever loses their life for the sake of the kingdom of God will have life in the world to come.’

73.    1Yeshua` said, ‘The eye is the lamp of the body. So if you’ve got a good eye, your whole body’s full of light, and your good eye becomes a source of light to everyone around you. 2But if you’ve got a bad eye, your whole body’s full of darkness, and your bad eye spreads only darkness around you.’

74.    1Yeshua` exhorted his followers, saying, ‘No one lights a lamp and covers it with a basket, or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that it gives light to the whole house. 2And when someone enters the house, they’ll see that light. 3In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see that light, and glorify your heavenly Father.’

75.    1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘A city set on a hill can’t be hidden, 2nor yet a fortified city fall.’

76.    1Now there was an elder who held himself to be a righteous man and blessed of God, but condemned those who did not match him in piety or righteousness. 2But Yeshua` said to him, ‘Those who reckon themselves first will be last, and those whom others reckon last, will be first in the kingdom of God.’

77.         1Yeshua` said, ‘Be conciliatory towards your accuser, and make the effort to settle matters with him quickly while you’re on the way to court. Or else your accuser will hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer of the court, and you’ll be thrown into prison. 2Let me say this to you: There’s no way you’re getting out of there until you’ve paid back the last prutah.’

78.    1Yeshua` said to his emissaries, ‘What do you think? 2There was this rich man whose money-manager had been accused of squandering his master’s property. 3So he called him in and said, “What’s this I hear about you? Give me an account of your management, because you’re no longer going to manage my money.”

           4‘So the money-manager said to himself, “What am I going to do? My master’s taking my position from me. I’m not strong enough to dig ditches, and I’m too ashamed to beg. 5I know what I’ll do! I know how I can get people to open their homes to me when I’m out of my job!”

           6‘So he called in each of his master’s debtors. He said to the first, “How much do you owe my master?”

7‘He replied, “One hundred baath of oil.”

           8‘So he said to him, “Take your invoice, and sit down quickly and write fifty.”

           9‘Then he said to another, “And how much do you owe?”

           10‘This one said, “One hundred kor of wheat.”

           11‘So he said to him, “Take your invoice, and write eighty.”

           12The emissaries were surprised, and laughed at this story.

           13Yeshua` said, ‘The rich man just had to hand it to the money-manager for his shrewdness! 14People with their heads in the affairs of this world are certainly shrewder in dealing with this generation than the sons and daughters of righteousness. But does this have to be so?’

           15His emissaries were puzzled, and said to him, ‘Master, we don’t understand.’

           16Yeshua` said to them, ‘The money-manager wrote off some of the debts of his master’s debtors, so securing for himself a place in their homes. 17But how much more will your heavenly Father welcome you into his home, if you forgive all the sins of those who have wronged you!’

79.    1There was a landowner, one of Herod’s party, listening to Yeshua`, and he said, ‘Why should we listen to you? 2Before the coming of the kingdom of the Holy One, blessed be He, He’ll send forth His prophet Eliyah to restore the Covenant, and we’ll listen to his words, and obey his teaching, not yours.’

           3But Yeshua` told him that his own words were witness against him. He said, ‘You are right, in that Eliyah comes to restore the Covenant. But Eliyah has already come – Yochanan the Immerser – but you did not acknowledge him. Instead you did all kinds of evil things against him.’ 4Yeshua` added that it was obvious that he had not even heeded the words of the prophets who came before him.

           5‘Listen to me! There was a certain landowner who planted a choice vineyard on fertile land. He erected a wall around it, carved out a pit for treading grapes, and built a watchtower to guard it. 6Then he rented it out to some tenant farmers so that they would work it, and he collect the crop from them. After that he went on a long journey to a country far away.

           7As harvest time drew near, he sent some of his servants to the tenants so that they might report on the progress of the crop. But knowing they had overseen a bad vintage, the tenants seized those servants. They beat up one, killed a second and stoned a third.

           8So the landowner again sent servants to his vineyard, many more than the first time, but the tenants did the same to them as well.

           9Then the owner sent his son, saying, “Perhaps they’ll show respect to my son.”

           10But when the tenants saw the son coming, they said to themselves, “This is the heir to the vineyard. Let us kill him and take the land for ourselves, since his father is far away in another country.” So they seized the son and killed him.

           11But when the landowner himself comes, what do you think he will do to those tenants? He looked for a good crop, but saw only bloodshed, so he will have the tenants seized and cast out. 12He will pull down the wall, and the land will be trampled down by wild animals. It will become a wasteland, and foreigners will live there.

80.    1In Jerusalem, a priest who belonged to the party of the Sadducees, said to Yeshua`, ‘Your words are adding to the Torah of Moses. You do the same as the Pharisees with their Traditions of the Elders. But we observe the Torah and keep it faithfully, since we have never added to it.’

           2So Yeshua` answered and told him that this was true – that they had never added to the Torah. But he also said that neither had they gained anything.

           3‘It’s like when a rich man prepared to go on a long journey. He called three of his servants, and entrusted to them his gold. 4To the first he gave five kikkarin, to the second, two kikkarin, and to the last, he gave one kikkar. Then he went away.

           5After a long while, the rich man returned, and commanded those servants, to whom he had entrusted the money, to be brought to him to settle accounts.

           6The first came to him and said, “Master, you entrusted me with five kikkarin; see, I’ve made five kikkarin more.”

           7‘His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Because you’ve been faithful in a little matter, I’ll set you over much – you shall keep the five kikkarin you’ve gained.”

           8‘So the second servant also came forward. “Master, you entrusted me with two kikkarin; see, I’ve made two kikkarin more.”

           9‘His master said to him, “And you shall keep the two kikkarin you’ve gained.”

           10‘But the third servant came forward, saying, “I know you to be a harsh man; you reap what you didn’t sow, and withdraw what you didn’t deposit. 11So I went and buried the kikkar you gave me in the ground to keep it safe. Here, have what’s yours.”

           12‘But his master answered him, “You wicked and lazy servant! So you knew that I was a harsh man, reaping what I didn’t sow, and withdrawing what I didn’t deposit? 13Then you should’ve invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would’ve collected it with interest.”

           14‘Then he said to those standing by, “Take the kikkar from him, and give it to him who has ten.

           15‘ “Be gone from here, you lazy and spiteful servant!” ’

81.    1Yeshua` said, ‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from those who don’t have, even what they do have will be taken away.’

82.    1Now the Zealots sought a way of trapping Yeshua`, since he was respected by scribes and the people alike, and had called many from the way of the dead to the way of the living. So they devised a ploy for shaming him in the presence of the people.

           2They said to him, ‘Teacher, is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’

           3But Yeshua` detected their trickery and said, ‘Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription is this?’

           4They said, ‘Caesar’s.’

           5So he said to them, ‘Then give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’

           6And they were unable to catch him out in the presence of the people; and being amazed by his answer they fell silent and went away.

83.    1A man called out to Yeshua`, ‘If those who oppress our land take all our people into exile, who will be left to cry out to God for justice? How will God judge our oppressors, when His battalions have been cast out? ’

           2So Yeshua` said to the people, ‘There was a man who scattered seed upon the ground. He goes to bed by night, and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows, ’though he himself doesn’t notice it.

           3‘The soil produces crops all by itself; first the blade, then the ear, then the mature grain in the ear.

           4‘But as soon as the grain’s ripe, he immediately puts the sickle to it, because the harvest time has come.’

84.    1A man said to Yeshua`, ‘Why do you urge us in this way? Why do you frighten people? The day’s still a way off, and there’s still time to prepare.’

           2But Yeshua` said to him, ‘It’s like a woman carrying a jar full of coarse flour. 3While she was walking along a road far off, the handle of the jar broke, and the coarse flour spilled behind her along the road. She didn’t know it – she had noticed no accident. 4But when she reached her house, she put the jar down, and discovered that it was empty.’

Book Two

85.    1In those days when Claudius was Emperor of Rome, and Agrippa the King in Judea, the Followers of the teachings of Yeshua` son of Yosef came together to remember his words; 2to compile them so that they might be used to teach others.

86.    1Now, as Yeshua` was passing along the northern shore of Lake Gennesaret at Beth Tsayada, he sought out his followers, those who knew him from his days with Yochanan the Immerser. He saw Shim`on and his brother Andreas casting a net into the lake from their small boat – for they were fishermen. 2And Yeshua` said to them, ‘Come with me, and I’ll make you fishers of men.’ 3And immediately they left their nets and followed him.

          4As he went a little further, he found Ya`qob son of Zebadiah, and Yo`anan his brother, who were in a large boat mending the nets. 5Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebadiah in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

87.    1Yeshua` went out along the lake at Kfar Nachum. Large crowds came to him, and he taught them, preaching to them the good news of the kingdom of God. 2As he was passing along he saw Matthiyah son of Alfai sitting at the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.

          3And it came to pass, as he was reclining at dinner in Matthiyah’s house, several tax collectors and prostitutes were also reclining with Yeshua` and his followers – for there were many who followed him. 4When the Zealots saw that he was eating with prostitutes and tax collectors, they said to his followers, ‘Why does your Master eat with collaborators like tax collectors and prostitutes?’ 5When Yeshua` heard this, he said to them, ‘Those who are strong and healthy don’t need a physician, rather those who are sick; I’m not here to call virtuous people, but sinners.’

88.    1Now, during those days he used to go up on high ground to pray; and he spent the night there in prayer to God. 2And when day came, he selected from among his followers those whom he wanted, and they came to him. 3So he appointed twelve followers who had been with him from the first, whom he chose to name as Emissaries – to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim God’s message.

          4So he appointed the twelve: Shim`on son of Yonah, to whom he gave the name, ‘the Rock’, and his brother Andreas; 5Ya`qob son of Zavdi and Yo`anan his brother, to whom he gave the name, ‘the Sons of Thunder’; 6Filippos of Beth Tsayada, and Netane’el son of Talmai of Qana; the tax collector Matthiyah son of `Alfai, and Yudah called ‘the Twin’; Ya`qob son of `Alfai, and Yudah son of Ya`qob, called Taddai; 7Shim`on the Zealot, and the daggerman Yudah son of Shim`on of Qeriot, who betrayed Yeshua`.

            8And he sent them out in pairs to preach, so that people would repent, and the tribulation to come would be avoided.

89.    1Yeshua` said to his emissaries, ‘Be on your way; see, I’m sending you out like lambs in the midst of wolves.’

90.    1Yeshua` said to his emissaries, ‘Whoever hears you, hears me. 2Because it is as they say, “Whoever receives the emissary, it is as if they were receiving the Master himself.”’

91.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t give the Ring to dogs, in case they grind it with their teeth, and turn and tear you to shreds.

           2‘Nor throw down pearls to pigs, in case they trample them underfoot, and cast them on the dung-heap.’

92.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Everyone who hears my words and puts them into practice, is like a wise person who built a house, digging down deep and laying its foundation on rock. 2And the heavy rains came down, the flash rivers struck, and the winds blew and beat against that house; but it didn’t fall, because it had been founded on solid rock.

           3‘But everyone who hears my words and ignores them, is like a foolish person who built their house on sand without a foundation. 4The heavy rains came down, the flash rivers struck, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell down with an almighty crash!’

93.    1Yeshua` said to his emissaries, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; 2pray therefore that the one in charge of the harvest will rush out labourers into the harvest.’

94.    1A woman said to Yeshua`, ‘Master, your teaching’s greater than that of Yochanan!’

           2But Yeshua` answered her, ‘A student isn’t greater than his teacher. It’s enough for a student to be like his teacher.’

95.    1Someone said to Yeshua` out of the crowd, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide our father’s inheritance with me!’

           2But Yeshua` said to him, ‘Look Mister, who appointed me as judge or arbiter over you?’

96.    1Yeshua` said, ‘A person’s life is not rated by the abundance of their possessions.’

97.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Whatever you would wish others to do to you, do so to them as well; 2because this is the whole of the Torah and The Prophets.’

98.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged; because in the same way that you judge others, you’ll be judged, 2and the measure you use will be the same measure you get.’

99.    1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned; forgive, and you’ll be forgiven; 2give, and the same will be given to you – a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap.’

100.         1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t build up storehouses, nor put away treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and maggot eat away, and thieves dig through and steal.

           2‘Rather, build up storehouses and put away treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor maggot can eat away, nor thieves dig through and steal.’

101.            1Yeshua` said, ‘What you treasure is also a good indication of where your heart lies.’

102.            1Yeshua` said to his emissaries, ‘Sell your possessions, and give alms, and provide yourselves with purses that don’t grow old, 2and a treasure in heaven that doesn’t depreciate.’

103.            1Yeshua` said to the people, ‘Believe me I tell you: If you have faith and do not doubt, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there!” and it’ll move. 2Or you can say to this fig tree, “Uproot yourself and plant yourself in the sea!” and it’ll obey you. 3Nothing will be impossible for you.’

104.            1Yeshua` said, ‘Whoever is not against you is for you.’

105.    1A man called out to Yeshua` and said, ‘Master, how often shall my neighbour sin against me, and I forgive him?’

               2Yeshua` said, ‘If he sins against you seven times and says to you, “I’m sorry”, you must forgive him.’

106.    1Now there were many who paid only lip service to Yeshua`’s teaching, only to raise their standing in the eyes of the people.

               2So Yeshua` said to them, ‘Why do you call me “Master”, and yet do nothing that I say?’

107.    1There were many religious fakers who made a display of their piety. They called upon God’s Name only to pretend to others that they were faithful to God’s ways, having only hatred, judgment and condemnation for others in their hearts.

               2So Yeshua` said, ‘Not everyone who calls out to me, saying “Master! Master!” will find the kingdom of God; but rather those who do the will of their heavenly Father.’

108.            1Yeshua` said, ‘When they die, God will gather together the religious phonies. 2And on that day, they’ll say, “Adonai! Adonai! Did we not prophesy in your Name? Did we not do many mighty deeds in your Name?”

               3‘And God will say to them, “I had nothing to do with what you said or did! Get away from me, you evildoers!’

109.    1In the days when Yeshua` was in Kfar Nachum, a Roman centurion came forward and said to him, ‘Teacher, I have in my house a Jewish servant, who is very dear to me. 2But he’s sick and in terrible distress. Will you come and heal him?’ But Yeshua` said nothing to him, and turned his face to look at the ground.

               3The elders of that place said to him, ‘He is worthy to have you do this for him, because he loves our people, and has given money for our synagogue.’

               4Then the centurion said, ‘Teacher, I am a man under authority, with many soldiers under me. And I say to one, “Go!” and he goes. And to another, “Come!” and he comes. And to my slave, “Do this!” and he does it. 5So likewise, I can command nine other men of my household, who are of different nations, to come forward and take hold of the hem of your cloak with me; so come with me Teacher, because I have heard that God is with you.’

               6Upon hearing this, Yeshua` was cut to the heart, and marvelled at him. 7Then, turning to his followers he said, ‘Believe me I tell you, not even in all the House of Israel have I found such faith!’

110.    1When Yeshua` was in Jerusalem, he saw how some of the chief priests, who were of the party of the Sadducees, were taking advantage of the people, and even of the priests who served God in the Temple.

               2So Yeshua` said, ‘Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master has set over his household to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 3How fortunate is that steward, because when his master comes, he’ll find him doing what he was given to do. 4Believe me I tell you, he’ll put him in charge of all his possessions.

               5‘But if that steward says to himself, “My master’s delayed in coming”, and begins to beat and abuse the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink with drunkards, 6the master of that household will come on a day when he doesn’t expect him, and at an hour he doesn’t know, and will punish him severely, and cast him into the outer darkness. He will assign him a place with the other men of deception, where therell be a weeping and gnashing of teeth!’

111.    1Now, some parties believed that the kingdom of God could be fulfilled by violent acts.

            2So Yeshua` said to them, ‘You justify what you’re doing in the eyes of human beings, but God knows what’s in your heart. 3What you do may be considered by some to be a noble thing, but it’s an abomination in the sight of God.

            4‘The Torah and The Prophets speak about Yochanan; and from the days of Yochanan, right to this very moment, the good news of the kingdom of God is being proclaimed, but the men of violence are trying to gain the kingdom of God by violence.’

112.            1Yeshua` spoke of the men of violence, saying, 2‘Many will come from the east and the west to recline at the table of Avraham, Yitzchaq and Ya`aqov in the kingdom of God, 3but the sons of the messianic kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there'll be a weeping and gnashing of teeth!’

113.    1People said to Yeshua`, ‘Show us a sign, so that we might believe you.’

            2But Yeshua` castigated them for demanding that God send His messengers on their terms, so he said to them, ‘You’re just unbelievable! 3You’re like children who sit in the marketplace and call out to others, “We played the flute for you, but you wouldn’t dance; we sang a dirge, but you wouldn’t weep.”

               4‘Look, Yochanan the Immerser came among you, neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, “He’s possessed!” 5This son of man comes among you, eating and drinking, and you say, “Look! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!”

               6‘But believe me I tell you, wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’

114.    1Now, there was a man who went among the people, expelling demons, and performing exorcisms in the name of Solomon, but doing little else. 2Yet all the people respected him, and held him in awe. 3And when he had finished, he would pronounce the man or woman clean.

               4But Yeshua` rebuked him angrily and said, ‘When an unclean spirit leaves a person, it wanders through waterless places in search of a resting-place. 5When it doesn’t find any, it then says, “I’ll return to the home I left”. It then returns and finds it swept and refurbished. 6Next, it goes out and brings back with it seven other spirits even more vile than itself, who enter and settle in there. 7So that person ends up being worse off than when they started!’

               8In this way, Yeshua` demonstrated that the man’s actions defeated themselves, and such people only revelled in their own importance, and did not proclaim the kingdom of God.

115.    1Now the party of the Pharisees have their Traditions, where they add to the Torah of Moses, and claim that their interpretations were given to Moses himself! 2They make decisions and pronouncements that are difficult to follow, and do nothing to resolve the problems they have caused.

               3Yeshua` said to them, ‘Shame on you, you men of deception! You tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but you’re not willing to lift a finger to help!’

116.            1Yeshua` spoke to the Pharisees of their Traditions, and said, ‘Shame on you, you men of deception! Because you shut the door of God’s kingdom in people’s faces and throw away the key. 2And you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who wish to enter to go in!’

117.            1Yeshua` spoke of the Pharisees’ Traditions, saying, ‘You’re like a dog sleeping in the feeding-trough of an ox; 2because neither does the dog eat the hay, nor does he let the oxen do so either.’

118.      1The Pharisees and their Torah scholars asked Yeshua`, ‘Why do your followers not do things according to the Traditions of the Elders?’ 2And he said to them, ‘Well did the Prophet Isaiah prophesy of you phonies, as it is written:

              3“These people have approached me with their mouths, and honoured me with their lips, but have kept their hearts far from me; their worship of me has been a human commandment they have learned by rote.”

              4‘You have abandoned the commandments of God, and instead hold fast to the traditions of men.’

              5Yeshua` said further to the Pharisees, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandments of God, in order to keep your Traditions! 6For it’s written in the Torah given to Moses, “Honour your father and your mother”; note that it’s also written, “Whoever insults their father or their mother, they shall be put to death.” 7But you say, “If someone tells their father or their mother, ‘What you would’ve received from me is already set aside as an offering to God’, then they need not honour their parents.” 8So for the sake of your Traditions, you have in fact nullified the commandment of God! And you do many similar things to that!’

119.            1Yeshua`’s followers spoke to Yeshua` and said, ‘Master, don’t you realise that the Pharisees are offended by what you say against their Traditions?’

               2But Yeshua` said, ‘Every vine which our heavenly Father has not planted will be dug up by the roots.’

120.            1Yeshua` said, ‘If a blind man leads a blind man, they’ll both fall into a ditch.’

121.            1Yeshua` spoke to the Torah scholars of the Pharisees and said to them, ‘Shame on you, blind guides! Because you say, “If anyone swears an oath by the Temple, it’s invalid, but if anyone swears an oath by the gold of the Temple, they’re bound by their oath.” 2Blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the Temple that makes the gold sacred? 3Again you say, “If anyone swears an oath by the altar, it’s invalid, but if anyone swears by the offering upon the altar, they’re bound by their oath.” 4Blind men! Which is greater: the offering, or the altar that makes the offering sacred?

               5‘Therefore I tell you, don’t swear oaths at all, neither by heaven, because it’s God’s throne; nor by the earth, because it’s God’s footstool. 6And don’t swear by your head, since you can’t make even one hair white or black. 7Simply let your “Yes” mean “Yes”, and your “No” mean “No”. Anything else comes from evil.’

122.            1Whenever the Pharisees and their Torah scholars heard Yeshua` speak against their Traditions, they would be angered and say, ‘In speaking against our Traditions, you speak against the Torah of Moses itself!’

               2But Yeshua` said, ‘No, don’t think that I’m here to nullify the Torah; I’m not here to nullify it but to restore it.’

               3‘Believe me I tell you, it’s easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one yodh or tittle of the Torah to become void.’

123.            1Yeshua` said, ‘Whoever relaxes one of the least of the commandments, and encourages others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of God. 2But whoever observes them, and teaches them to others, shall be called great in the kingdom of God.

               3‘For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and their Torah scholars, you’ll never find the kingdom of God.’

124.            1Yeshua` said, ‘The commandment was given to our ancestors, “You shall not commit murder”; and whoever commits murder will be liable to judgement. 2But let me just say, that everyone who’s angry with their neighbour shall be liable to judgement – 3whoever says to their neighbour, “Worthless moron!” shall be answerable to the Great Council, and whoever says, “Fool!” shall be cast into the outer darkness!’

125.            1Yeshua` said, ‘If you’re making a sin offering in the Temple, and there you remember that your brother has some disagreement with you, leave your offering there with the priest. 2First make peace with your brother, and only then can you return and make your sin offering.’

126.            1Yeshua` said, ‘If your neighbour sins, point out their fault privately, and if they repent, you must forgive them.’

127.      1Some Pharisees approached Yeshua` to test him. They questioned him, saying, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce a wife for any reason he sees fit?’

              2So he answered them, saying, ‘What did Moses command us?’

              3And they said, ‘When a man divorces his wife, he writes her a certificate of divorce.’ 4Now they said this, because they taught that the indecent matter of which Torah speaks could mean anything the husband so wished – that a man could dismiss his wife if he found anything trivial in her that displeased him.

              5But Yeshua` said to them, ‘It is because of your stubborn hearts that Moses wrote of this commandment.’ 6He said this, because according to our law, a man can divorce a woman, but a woman has no say in the matter. 7‘Therefore let me tell you this: whoever divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, in order to marry another woman, commits adultery.

              8‘For have you not read that from the beginning, “God made them male and female”, 9and that a man leaves his parents and joins with his wife, and the two become one flesh?’ 10He said these words to them, because a man should not enter marriage lightly, as something to be torn apart on a whim.

128. 1Now, while some Torah scholars of the sectaries were gathered together under the porticoes of the Temple, 2they were discussing the many deeds that the messiah was prophesied to fulfil. At one point, in order to prove their argument, they pointed to a portion in the scroll of the Psalms, to a psalm of David. 3So in astonishment, Yeshua` asked them this question: ‘What do you think about the messiah? Whose son is he?’

              So they said to him, ‘The son of David.’

              4So Yeshua` said to them, ‘How is it then that David calls him “lord”, saying, “The Holy One said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’? If David here calls him “lord”, how then can this be his son?’

                  5Yeshua` then went on to explain – quietly, for fear of Roman spies in the crowd – that the one whom God will seat on the throne of the kingdom of Israel, that one will be the son of David. But this psalm was not speaking of him; the psalm did not therefore refer to the messiah.

129.            1Yeshua` said, ‘Beware of messiahs and false prophets, because they come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they’re ravenous wolves.’

130.            1Yeshua` said, ‘Listen! If anyone says to you, “Look, here’s the messiah!” or “There he is!” don’t follow him. 2Because messiahs and false prophets will arise and lead many to their deaths. 3So if people say to you, “Look – he’s out in the wilderness!” don’t go out. Or if they say, “Look – he’s in the innermost rooms!” don’t believe it. 4Because messiahs and false prophets don’t proclaim the kingdom of God, only themselves.’

131.            1Yeshua` raised his eyes to heaven, and held out his hands in prayer, and gave praise to God, saying,

2 You alone are the God who works wonders,

           and shows His strength to the nations.

3You alone the God who will save us -

           Your people, the children of Ya`aqov

4Your thunder rumbled like wheels;

           The waters, they saw You, O God;

5The waters of the heavens, they trembled,

       And the waters of the deep, they quaked.

6Your lightening struck in the east,

           and lit up the sky in the west

7You saved Your people with mighty deeds,

        You led Your children as a flock

8So shall it be on the day of our God

           - the great and terrible day.

132.    1A woman called out to Yeshua` from the crowd, ‘When will the Day of Adonai come? When are the last days?’

               2But Yeshua` answered her, ‘Look lady, why do you ask me? No one knows the day or the hour, only God. 3Listen, if the owner of the house had known at what time the thief was coming, they would’ve kept watch and wouldn’t have let their house be broken into, now would they?’

133.    1One time, Yeshua` stood on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem to pray with his followers. And he turned his face to the Holy City, and being given a terrible vision from God, he wept.

               2‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and those who are sent to you! 3How often I’ve longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you wouldn’t let me!

               4‘Look, the House of our God lies abandoned. Abominations of war are set up where they ought not to be.

               5‘And the day will come, when not one stone will be left standing upon another; every stone will be cast down.’

134.            1Yeshua` saw how those who claimed to follow the ways of God, were instead ignoring the poor and the sick, hurrying by or refusing to help.

               2So God called Yeshua` to go and stand in the Temple courts. And he spoke the word of God, saying, 3‘All the house of Israel will be gathered together before God, and he’ll separate them from each other, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. God will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 4Then God will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed, take your inheritance prepared for you since the creation of the world. 5Because I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

               6‘Then the righteous will answer him, “Adonai, when did we see you hungry or thirsty? When did we see you a stranger, or needing clothes? When did we see you sick or in prison?” 7And God will reply, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these my children, you did for me.”

               8‘Then God will say to those on his left, “Get away from me, you wicked! Because I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you didn’t invite me in, I was naked and you didn’t clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you didn’t come to visit me.”

               9‘They too will answer, “Adonai, when did we see you hungry and not feed you, or thirsty and give you nothing to drink, or a stranger and not invite you in, or naked and not clothe you, or sick and not look after you, or in prison, and not visit you?” 10And God will reply to them, “Whatever you refused to do for one of the least of these - my children - you refused to do for me.”

               11“ ‘Get away from me, you wicked! I’ll have nothing to do with you!’ ”

 

Book Three

 

135.    1In the days of Ya`aqov the Pious, while Antonius Felix was governor of Judea, the Followers of the teachings of the prophet Yeshua` would gather together, and stories were told to explain his teaching.

136.    1The Holy One our God made Yeshua` travel a long way into the wilderness to fast for forty days - to test him by hardships to learn what was in his heart. 2God subjected him to the hardship of hunger, to humble him and to see if Yeshua` would keep God’s commandments. 3In his hunger, he lay down and fell asleep.

               4And he dreamed a dream. He dreamed that the Accuser was sent to examine him. Coming up to Yeshua` he said, ‘If you’re a prophet of the Most High, then speak, that these stones may become loaves of bread.’

               5But Yeshua` answered him, ‘No, because it’s written in the Torah, “People are not kept alive with bread alone; they are kept alive with everything that is produced at the command of YHVH.

               6And in his dream, the Accuser took him to the Holy City, and set him on the highest pinnacle of the Temple, and said to him, 7‘If you’re a Prophet of the Most High, throw yourself down from here, since it’s written in The Psalms,

 

               8“For God will order his angels

                              to watch you wherever you go.

               They will carry you upon their hands,

                              so that you will not strike your foot on a single stone.”

 

               9But Yeshua` answered him, ‘It’s written in the Torah, “You shall not test YHVH your God.”

               10And in his dream, the Accuser took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the known world, and their splendour. 11And he said to Yeshua`, ‘All these things I’ll give you, if you’ll fall down and worship me.’

               12But Yeshua` answered, ‘It’s written in the Torah, “You shall revere YHVH your God alone, and you shall serve only Him.”

               13With that the Accuser left him, and Yeshua` awoke from his dream.

137.    1One day, when Yeshua` was teaching among the Temple porticoes, some of the chief priests came up to him and said, ‘By what authority are you teaching these things, and who gave you this authority?’

               2Yeshua` answered, ‘I’ll ask you a question as well, and if you can answer me, then I’ll tell you by what authority I teach these things. 3Now, was the ritual immersion practised by Yochanan from God, or from human beings?’

               4So they discussed it with one another, saying, ‘If we say, “From God,” he’ll say to us, “Then why didn’t you believe him?” 5And if we say, “From human beings,” then the people around us will stone us, because they’re all convinced that Yochanan was a prophet.’ 6So they answered, ‘We don’t know.’

               7And he said to them, ‘Then neither will I tell you by what authority I teach, or who gave me this authority.’

138.    1As they were going along, one of his followers saw a blind man. Pointing him out, he said to Yeshua`, ‘Master, I know this man, he’s been blind since the time of his birth. 2Surely it was the sin of his parents that caused God to punish him like this.’

               3But Yeshua` said, ‘No.’

               4So this follower said, ‘But Master, then surely he’s being made to suffer because of his own sin!’

               5But Yeshua` said, ‘No. Neither this man nor his parents sinned.’             

            6Then Yeshua` turned to the rest of his followers and said, ‘You won’t find the kingdom of God in questions such as these. 7Rather listen to the words that are written in The Prophets: “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

               8And Yeshua` gave the blind man alms out of the common purse, and ministered to him.

139.    1Now the Zealots hated Yeshua`, since he opposed their ways, and said they were already dead before God. 2So at every turn they sought ways to shame him in the eyes of the people, but did not kill him, since the people held him to be a prophet.

               3So one day, while he was teaching in the outer courts of the Temple, a group of Zealots brought a woman to him who had been caught in adultery. They set her in front of them all and one of them said to him, 4‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. Now, the Torah of Moses commands us to stone such a woman. But what do you say about her?’

               5Yeshua` simply sat down on the ground and wrote with his finger in the dust. But they kept on asking him, 6so he stood up, and picking up a stone in his right hand, said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among us be the first to throw a stone at her.’

               7When the people around him heard this, they began to drift away, the older ones first, one by one, until Yeshua` was left alone with the woman before him. 8Yeshua` looked at her and said to her, ‘Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?’

               9She said, ‘No one, Master.’

               10And dropping the stone to the ground, Yeshua` said, ‘Then neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin this way no more.’

140.    1Now one of the merchants of the town who admired Yeshua`, a jar-merchant by trade called Shim`on, invited him to have dinner with him. Upon entering, he reclined at the dining couch.

               2Now there was a particular woman in that town, a prostitute, who was aware that he was taking dinner in the house of the jar-merchant. 3She pushed her way in, bringing with her an alabaster flask of ointment – very expensive, pure nard. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping uncontrollably. 4Her tears wet his feet, and she wiped them dry with her hair, and kissed his feet. Then she broke open the flask of nard, and soothed his feet with the ointment.

               5Now when Shim`on saw this he was puzzled, and said, ‘If you were a prophet, you would know who this is, and what kind of a woman is touching you, seeing how she’s a sinner.’

               6And Yeshua` answered him, ‘Shim`on, I have something to say.’

               7‘Yes Teacher,’ he said. ‘Go ahead.’

               8‘This moneylender had two debtors; one owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Since neither one of them could pay up, he wrote off both debts. Now, which one of them will love him more?’

               9Shim`on answered, ‘I suppose, the one who was forgiven of more.’

               10And Yeshua` said, ‘You’re right!’ Then, turning to the woman he said to Shim`on, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house, and you gave me no water to wash my feet; but this woman’s wet my feet with her tears, and wiped them dry with her hair. 11You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the moment she arrived, she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet; 12you didn’t anoint my head with oil, but this woman’s anointed my feet with nard. 13Because of this, I tell you it’s obvious that her sins, which are many, have been forgiven by God, as this outpouring of love shows. But the one who’s forgiven of little, shows little love to others.’

               14And he said to her, ‘Your sins have been forgiven by God.’

               15But the other guests present at the dinner muttered amongst themselves, ‘How can he say that? Heaven would never forgive such a woman!’

               16But Yeshua` said to the woman, ‘Your repentance has redeemed you; go in peace.’

141.            1Yeshua` was invited to dinner at the house of a man who thought he could increase his standing with the people by inviting Yeshua` into his home.

               2When he arrived, he noticed how a number of guests were choosing the places of honour.

               3So he said to them, ‘When you’re invited by anyone to a banquet, don’t go and recline in the place of honour, in case someone more important than you has been invited. 4Because the one who invited you both will come up to you and say, “Give your place up to this person,” and then humiliated, you’ll have to make your way to take the lowest place. 5Instead, when you’re invited anywhere, go and recline in the lowest place, so that the one who invited you will say to you, “My friend, go up higher.” Then you’ll be honoured in the presence of all who are dining with you.’

               6Then he said to his host, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, don’t call your friends, or your brothers or sisters, or your relatives, or your rich neighbours, because they might invite you in return, and you’ll be repaid. 7Instead, when you throw a dinner party, invite the poor, the maimed, the crippled and the blind. And you’ll be blessed, because they can’t repay you. 8Believe me I tell you, you’ll have your reward in the world to come.’

142.    1One day Yeshua` sat opposite the Temple treasury speaking to his followers. 2He watched as the people around him put money into the trumpets of the thirteen donation chests, each one set apart for a different fund.

               3Now, many rich people put in large sums, but then a poor widow came, and put in two copper prutah coins.

               4So he said to his followers, ‘Believe me I tell you, that poor widow’s put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 5Because they all contributed out of the surplus of their wealth; but she out of her poverty, has put in everything she had – her whole livelihood.’

143.    1An elder of the sectaries said to Yeshua`, ‘My followers are rich beyond measure, because they have my teaching, and will sit like kings on thrones and judge over all Israel! 2But your followers dwell in poverty, because your teaching is barren, and your followers have nothing – they are ignorant peasants!’

               3But Yeshua` said, ‘Those who follow this son of man are like children who work as tenant farmers in a field that isn’t theirs. 4And one day, the owners of the field will come, and they’ll say to them, “Give us our field back”. And the children will give them back their field.

               5‘Then the landowners will say to them, “Give us back the seed we gave you, and the tools we gave you to work our field.” And the children will give them back their seed, and the tools that were loaned to them.

               6‘Then the landowners will say to them, “Give us the cloaks we gave you, and the tunics we gave you too.”

               7‘And in their presence, the children will hand over their cloaks, and their tunics as well.

               8‘Then the landowners will say to them, “Now what have you got left? You’ve got nothing – you’re just ignorant peasants!”

               9‘But the children will answer, “No, we’re children of the land, and the kingdom of God is ours. It wasn’t yours to give, and it’s not yours to take back.”’

144.    1Now, Yeshua` was debating with some Pharisees, who believe that the gift of prophecy was closed off by Heaven, and that after Malakhi, there are no more prophets.

               2He said to them, ‘Yochanan came to you as a prophet to show you the paths of righteousness, but you wouldn’t believe him. 3Yet the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him, and flocked to him to be immersed by him. 4And even when you saw that, you still didn’t change heart and believe him.’

145.    1Now the Pharisees debated with Yeshua`, and pressed him for a sign from Heaven, because they would not accept his calling as a prophet without one. 2But Yeshua` sighed deeply, knowing that they would not accept him as a prophet even if they were given a sign from Heaven either.

               3So he said to them, ‘Why do people these days insist on a sign? Well, let me tell you, you’re not going to get one any time soon!’

            4Because just as Jonah was sent to the Ninevites, so also this son of man has been sent to this generation. 5When the Ninevites were told of the imminent disaster facing them, they repented at the preaching of Jonah; believe me I tell you, this generation stands condemned, because a disaster even greater than theirs is upon us, and it does not repent!

            6The Queen of Sheba came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom and judgment of Solomon, and her spirit was overwhelmed. Believe me I tell you, this generation stands condemned, because a judgment even greater than that is upon us, and yet its spirit is unmoved!’

            7And with that, he left them.

146. 1Yeshua` was speaking to his followers when a man came up to him in great distress. He presented his son to him and said, ‘This, my son, is stubborn and rebellious! I say to him, “Do this!” and he does something else. I say, “Come this way!” and he goes off the other way. Now, I have said to him, “You must not join with the Zealots!” Yet he proceeds to join them! Master, what shall I do?’

            2So Yeshua` turned to the man’s son. He reminded him that Torah commanded such a rebellious son be taken out and stoned to death, 3but then he said, ‘Tell me what you think of this: a man had two children. Approaching the first he said, “My son, go and work in the vineyard today.”

            4‘He replied, “I’ll go my lord,” but didn’t go.

            5‘So he approached the second one and said the same thing.

            ‘And he replied, “I won’t.” But later he had a change of heart and did go.

            6‘Now, which one of the two carried out their father’s will?’

            The young man answered, ‘The second.’

            7So Yeshua` gave a wry smile and said to him, ‘Then go, and do the same.’

147.    1The people of one village had heard that a prophet was coming to stay with them, so when Yeshua` arrived they brought their children to him. 2They asked him to bless them – to lay his hands upon them and pray for them, as is our custom when we are visited by a man of God. However, when his followers saw this, they scolded them.

               3When Yeshua` realised what his followers were doing, he became indignant and said, ‘Let the children come to me, and don’t try to stop them; because the kingdom of God belongs to ones such as these.

               4‘Believe me I tell you, unless you accept the kingdom of God like a child, you shall never find it.’

               5And so he laid his hands on them, and took them in his arms and blessed them.

148.            1Yeshua` said, ‘Whoever humbles themselves like a child will be the greatest in the kingdom of God.’

149.            1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord their authority over them, and those in positions of leadership arrogantly hold their authority over them.

               2‘But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave to all.’

150.      1Yeshua` said, ‘The one who’s honest with a little, can be trusted with much. 2But the one who’s dishonest with a little, can’t be trusted with greater things.’

151.      1Now it happened in those days, for the first time after he received the word of God, that Yeshua` returned to Nazareth, his home village. He was accompanied there by many of his followers. 2And when the Sabbath arrived, he was invited to deliver a word of exhortation after reading from The Prophets. 3Thereupon he preached to his neighbours the good news of the Kingdom of God, yet many who heard him were surprised.

              4For his family were very poor, and his mother a widow. His family and lineage were no different from any other in the village, and his neighbours all knew him. So the women at the back began to gossip.

              5‘What’s he on about?’ one said. ‘Who does he think he is?’

              6‘Isn’t he just a day labourer?’ remarked another. ‘Where’s he getting all these big ideas from?’

              ‘He’s the son of that Mary woman,’ someone scoffed.

              7Agreeing with her, another said, ‘Yes, and his brothers are no more than farmhands and fishermen, just like the rest of our menfolk.’

              8Looking around, another saw his sisters and mocked, ‘Look, even his sisters honour us with their presence!’

              9Many of his former neighbours became annoyed with him, and accused him of getting ideas above his station – a peasant, and the son of peasants.

              10Hearing their gossip, Yeshua` was disappointed, for he had hoped that the message God gave him would gladden them. 11But it was God’s will that these things should happen, so that those of his followers who were not native to Nazareth would see that Yeshua` was but a man like them, 12and that the words he spoke were not his own, but of heavenly origin – that his words were not the work of human cleverness or study, but rather of divine gift and provenance.

             13Later that day, Yeshua` was invited to eat at the house of one of his followers who lived in Nazareth. But the news of his exhortation at the synagogue that morning had spread to everyone in the village. 14A crowd gathered around the small house, so that he and his followers were not even able to enjoy a Sabbath meal together.

            15Now, his sisters had hurried home to tell their mother what had happened. Much embarrassed, she summoned those of his brothers who were in Nazareth to help her deal with the situation. 16They all rushed to the house where Yeshua` and his followers were, but they couldn’t get near him because of the crowd. So they passed word through the crowd that Yeshua` was to come out at once, as he was embarrassing his family.

            17When word got through the crowd to Yeshua`, that his mother and brothers were outside looking for him, he called to mind what had happened earlier that day. 18So he said, ‘Who is my mother? And who are my brothers?’ 19And he stretched out a hand to his followers and said, ‘Here are my mother and brothers! 20Because whoever does the will of our heavenly Father, they are my mother, and my brother, and my sister.’

152.        1God led Yeshua` to see how His people were working hard in the fields, labouring to plant and to reap; and to see the porters at the customs post on the shores of Lake Gennesaret, bent double with their loads.

                     2Abounding in compassion for His people, God instructed Yeshua` to speak to His people of the wisdom of His Torah. So, inspired by the people in the marketplace, calling out to attract buyers for their wares, Yeshua` went and stood by the customs post. He called to the people around him to rest a while and listen to his words, saying, ‘Hey! All you who are weary and heavily burdened, come to me, and I’ll give you rest for your souls! 3Learn from our Heavenly Father’s Torah, and take the yoke of Wisdom upon you; for her yoke is easy, and her burden light.’

153.    1Yeshua` said, ‘When you pray, don’t babble and repeat your prayers over and over like Gentiles do, for they think that their prayers will be answered because of their many words and repetitions. 2Don’t be like them, for your heavenly Father knows what you need even before you ask.’

154.    1Yeshua` warned people to watch their tongue when speaking of others, since there were some from whose lips hatred and spite raced like an untamed fire. 2He said to the people, ‘Beware your tongue, of what you say, because the day will come when you’ll have to give an account for all the heartless words you’ve spoken; 3because as the saying goes, “By your words you shall be acquitted, and by your words you shall be convicted.”

          4And so he said, ‘It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, rather it is what comes out of his mouth – this is what defiles a man.’

155.    1Yeshua` said, ‘The kingdom of God is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea, and drew it up from the sea full of fish. 2In the net there were many small fish, but among them the wise fisherman found a nice big fish. 3So he threw all the small fish back into the sea, and chose the big fish without any problem.’

156.    1A certain scribe – a Pharisee by training – who had decided to accept Yeshua`’s teaching, asked him, ‘Master, now that I follow your teaching, will I have to abandon everything I’ve learned before?’

            2So Yeshua` said to him, ‘Every scribe who becomes a citizen of the kingdom of God, is like someone who is the owner of a house, who brings out of their storehouse treasures new as well as old.’

157.    1A rich man came up to Yeshua` and said, ‘Many times you have said that the lame, the crippled and the blind will find the kingdom of God, and the rich and the wealthy will be cast out. 2But surely you know that it’s written, “No one who is blind or lame, or has a crippled foot or hand may enter behind the curtain, or approach the altar, because to do so will profane the sacred places of the Temple.” 3Surely if they cannot even enter the holiest places of the Temple, then how can they deserve the kingdom of God more than we who have great wealth? 4My wealth has caused me no sin! I have my wealth, because I have two hands, two feet and two eyes. They, the maimed, the crippled and the blind, have nothing.’

             5At this, Yeshua` became very angry indeed, and said to him, ‘If it’s your hand that’s caused you to sin, then cut it off! Because it’s better to enter the kingdom of God maimed, than with two hands be cast into the outer darkness!

            6‘And if it’s your foot that’s caused you to sin, cut it off! Because it’s better to enter the kingdom of God crippled, than with two feet be cast into the outer darkness!

            7‘And if it’s your eyes that have caused you to sin, pluck them out! Because it’s better to enter the kingdom of God blind, than with two eyes be cast into the outer darkness!’

158.   1Now it happened that Yeshua` entered Yericho and was passing through it. 2And there was a man there named Zakkai; he was a senior tax collector and was very rich. 3He was trying to see which man Yeshua` was, but because of the crowd he could not, since he was short in stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycomorus fig tree to catch sight of him, because Yeshua` was going to pass that way.

           5When Yeshua` came to that place, looking up he noticed Zakkai and said to him, ‘Hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’ 6So he hurried down and joyfully welcomed him to his house. 7But some Zealots among the crowd saw this and began to grumble, saying, ‘He has gone to stay with a collaborator.’ 8But Zakkai stood his ground and said to Yeshua`, ‘Master, look – half of my possessions I will give to the poor; and if I have cheated anyone of anything, I will pay him back four times as much.’ 9Then Yeshua` said to him, ‘Believe me I tell you, today salvation has come to this man’s house; for he too is a son of Israel.’

159.    1A Torah scholar said to Yeshua`, ‘Isn’t it written in the Torah, “A man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, so that they become one flesh.” 2If it’s written thus, then all men must take a wife. If this is so, then why aren’t you married? It’s not good for man to be alone.’

            3And Yeshua` said, ‘This teaching doesn’t apply to everyone; only those to whom it’s relevant. 4For there are some who don’t marry, because they’ve been that way from the time they were born; 5and there are some single people whose right to marry has been taken away from them by human beings; 6and there are some who’ve taken the decision to stay single for the sake of the kingdom of God.

            7‘So only those who are in a position to accept this teaching should accept it.’

160.    1Now there were some elders and Torah scholars of the Pharisees who were debating how far to go when ritually washing the hands before eating a meal, 2because they were concerned that if one did not wash the hands in the correct way, then one’s food would be defiled, and by eating it, one would also be defiled.

            3Some said, ‘It’s enough to wash only the fingers;’ others, ‘One must wash past the wrists;’ yet others, ‘Wash up to the elbows;’ and still others, ‘It’s not enough unless one washes up to one’s shoulders.’ 4Each one believed that the others’ way would defile their food, and so defile the person.

            5But Yeshua` said, ‘It’s not what goes into a person that defiles them, but what comes out of their heart. 6Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes not into the heart, but into the stomach and passes out of the body? 7But the things that come out of a person come from the heart, and these things defile you – acts of murder and adultery, false witness and theft, greed, malice, deceit, envy, arrogance and blasphemy.

            8‘All these evils that come from inside are what make a person unclean; not washing your hands in a certain way won’t defile your food or make a person unclean.’

161.    1One morning, Yeshua` sat with his followers in the market street of Jerusalem on the busiest day of the week. 2There he saw the Pharisees Torah scholars being greeted by their followers, and how they loved the honour of being hailed as ‘Rabbi’ or ‘Father’ or ‘Guide’.

            3So Yeshua` stood up and spoke to the crowds and to his followers, saying, 4‘The Pharisees and their Torah scholars have seated themselves on Moses’ seat. 5Because of this I say to you, whatever Moses says, do and observe, but according to their interpretations do not do, for they make pronouncements, and do not do Torah.

            6‘Because they make all their interpretations only to be seen by others, for they love to be greeted in the marketplace and have you call them ‘Rabbi’ or ‘Father’ or ‘Guide’.

            7‘But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi’, for you have but one Teacher among you – Moses – and you are all brothers. 8And do not call anyone ‘Father’ on earth, for you have but one Father – the One in Heaven. 9Nor are you to be called ‘Guide’, for you have but one guide – Torah.”

162.    1While he was sitting on the Mount of Olives praying, with his emissaries nearby, 2Yeshua` was given a most terrible vision of the destruction to come on the Day of YHVH. 3So he called for his emissaries and spoke to them. He warned them of the signs in the last days before the destruction of Jerusalem, saying, 4‘You’ll hear of wars and disturbances, hardship and famine; don’t be alarmed, for these things will take place first – it’s the trembling of heaven and earth. The end won’t come all at once; it’s all but the beginning of the birth pangs.

              5‘But when you see Jerusalem surrounded first by armies of Idumeans,

then know that its desolation is near. 6Then let those who are in Judea flee to the hills, and let those who are within the city depart at once. 7Let not those who are on their housetops go down and enter their houses to take anything away, and let not those who are in the field return home to fetch their mantles.

           8 ‘Pity all those pregnant and nursing mothers in those days! Pray that their flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath!

           9 ‘In those days, there will be such tribulation as has not been seen since the creation of the world.

           10 ‘Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his son; children will rise against their parents, and have them put to death. 11Sons will be set against their fathers, and daughters against their mothers. A man’s enemies will be members of his own household.

           12‘But when you see abominations of desolation standing in the Holy Place – where they have no right to be – then you will know that the end is almost upon you.

           13‘How right are the Dead when they say, “Do not think that we have come to bring peace to the Land. We did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

           14‘Before long, our Roman enemies will build ramparts against the city walls, and encircle her and close in on her from every side. 15Those who did not sieze the chance for escape will be crushed into the ground, and their children with them. Our enemies will not leave a single stone in place.

           16‘For thus will the House of Israel fall by the sword and be taken into exile; they will be led captive among all the nations, to mourn and weep for generations.

           17‘Jerusalem will be ruled and downtrodden by the Gentiles, until the days of their rule are brought to an end, and the captives return.’

163.   1Yeshua` said, ‘Learn this lesson from the fig tree: as soon as its twigs become tender and put forth leaves, you know that summer’s near; 2so also when you see all these things, you know that the end is near. 3Believe me I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened.

           4‘But concerning that day or hour, no one knows, not the angels in heaven, nor this son of man; only our Father in heaven.’

164.   1Yeshua` said, As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the last days before the Day of Adonai. 2For thats how they were in the last days before the flood - eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, right up until the day Noah entered the ark; 3and they were all blissfully unaware until the flood came and took them all.

           4So it will be in the last days before the Great and Terrible Day. 5At that time, there will be two men in the field; one will be taken, and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken, and the other left. 6Therefore be vigilant, because you dont know when the Day of Adonai is coming.

165. 1Yeshua` spoke to the people of Judea who had refused to heed his warnings about the terrible catastrophe to come, and said to them, 2Calamity awaits you, O Jericho! Calamity awaits you, O Hebron! For if the powerful message that was proclaimed in you had been proclaimed in Joppa and Caesarea, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 3Therefore I say to you, it’ll be more bearable for Joppa and Caesarea on the Day of Adonai than for you! 4And you, O Jerusalem, which was exalted to the heavens, you shall be cast down to She’ol!’

166. 1Yeshua` spoke against those who oppressed the poor in God’s Name, and did many evil things in God’s Name, saying, 2‘Sins against human beings can be forgiven, but sins against the holiness of God can never be forgiven.’

167.    1Yeshua` told a parable and said, ‘The kingdom of God is like a man sowing good quality seed in his field. 2But while everyone slept, an east wind came, and scattered darnel seed amongst the wheat as it passed by.

            3So when the wheat sprouted and formed heads, the darnel grass also appeared. 4So the servants of the landowner approached him and said, “My lord, didn’t you sow good quality seed in your field? Then where did the darnel seed come from?”

            5So the landowner said to them, “A rival must have done this.”

            So the servants asked him, “Then, do you want us to go round and pull them all up?”

              6But the landowner said, “No, just in case you pull up wheat by mistake. Leave them both to grow together until harvest; 7then itll be easier to tell them apart. 8At harvest time Ill say to the reapers, ‘First collect the darnel grass, and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather up the wheat into my storehouse.”

168.   1Yeshua` said, ‘The day when God shall use His authority as king to intervene in our affairs is like ten young women who, having collected their oil-lamps, prepared to go out and meet the bridegroom’s procession. 2Five of these professional bridal revellers were wise, and five were foolish. 3Those who were foolish took their oil-lamps with them, but did not take any oil with them. 4But the wise ones took oil in their oil-flasks for their oil-lamps.

           5Now, the bridegroom was delayed, and so they all nodded off and fell asleep. 6But in the middle of the night, a cry went out: “Hey everyone! The bridegroom’s procession is coming! Come out all of you and join him!”

           7Then all the young bridal revellers got up, and trimmed their oil-lamps. 8Now the foolish ones said to the wise ones, “Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.”

           9But the wise ones answered them, saying, “There may not be enough for both us and you; it’s best if you go to an oil-seller, and buy some oil for yourselves.”

           10However, while they were away buying oil, the bridegroom’s procession arrived, and those who were ready went along with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut behind them.

           11A while afterwards, the rest of the young women arrived and said, “My lord, my lord! Open up for us!”

           12But he answered them and said, “Believe me, I have no idea who you are.”

           13Repent now therefore while you can, for you do not know the day or the hour when God will intervene – when perfected humanity will be called to his wedding feast, while the wicked sit outside in the outer darkness.

169. 1Yeshua` told the people this parable, saying, ‘The day when God shall use His authority as king to intervene in our affairs is like a large dragnet, which was cast into the lake, and brought together all kinds of things. 2When it was completely full, it was drawn up onto the shore. Then the men took their places and sat down. They sorted the good things into baskets, but the bad things they threw out.

           3‘So it will be when this present age is completed: God will send out His angels, and they will separate the wicked out from amongst the righteous, and will cast them into the outer darkness, where there’ll be a weeping and gnashing of teeth!’

170. 1Yeshua` spoke further to the people, saying, 2‘Believe me I tell you, there are some here who will not taste death before they witness the powerful intervention of God as our Judge and King!’

171.      1A certain young magistrate came forward to speak to Yeshua` and said, Teacher, which of your good words must I follow in order to receive my share of life in the world to come?

           2But Yeshua` said to him, ‘Why do you call my words good? There is but One alone whose word is good – God. 3So if you wish to follow the way of life, then keep His commandments: do not commit murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false testimony, honour your father and your mother, and love your neighbour as yourself.’

           4But the young man said to him, ‘All these things I have observed from my youngest days. What am I still missing?’

           5And Yeshua` looked at him and felt sorry for him. So he said to him, ‘Youre missing one thing. If you wish to be perfect, then go, sell up whatever you have and give it over to the poor. That way you’ll have treasure in heaven. Then come back, and follow me.’

           6When the young man heard these words his face fell, and he went away extremely sorrowful, for in fact he had a great number of possessions.

172.      1The Sadducees, who say there is no heaven, came to Yeshua` and questioned him, saying, 2‘Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man dies without having any children, his brother must marry the widow in order to bear children for the brother who died. 3Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to the care of his brother. 4The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 5Last of all, the woman also died. 6Now then, in the world to come, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?’

           7Yeshua` replied, ‘You ask these things because you dont know the Scriptures or the power of God. 8In the world to come, people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.’

           

173.   1These then are the sayings of Yeshua` of Nazareth, servant and prophet of God, which God gave him to deliver to all the Assembly of Israel.

           2Remember this: Do not abandon your God, for YHVH will not abandon his people. 3And consider always, you who desire to follow the ways of the kingdom of God, that it is written in the Torah,

           4‘You shall revere YHVH your God alone; and you shall serve only Him.’

 

© Shmu’eil ben Naftali

‘Sefer Yeshua`’

(International Talmidi Version,

First edition published July 2000


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