Biographical Gospel of the Lord

- Chapter 28 -
The Magi Are Received By Herod

HE FOLLOWING MORNING Joseph said, 'Why should we remain here any longer? Mary is well again, so let us set out to where we have our regular accommodations!'
But just as Joseph was getting ready to make his departure, the captain, who had already attended to some business in the town before daybreak, returned and said to Joseph,
'Worthy man of God! You want to set out on your homeward journey, but I advise you against it for today, tomorrow and the day after that!
See, I have just heard through my men, who arrived from Jerusalem very early this morning, that three mighty Persian caravans have entered Jerusalem!
Three leaders of highest rank as Magi have made most pressing inquiries of Herod concerning the newborn King of the Jews!
The latter, who as a Roman tenant sovereign from Greece knew nothing of the matter, turned to the high priests so they might inform him where the newly Anointed should be born.
And these informed him that such were to take place in Judea, namely in Bethlehem, for so it were written.
'Thereupon Herod dismissed the priests and with his entire retinue went to the three leaders and informed them of what he had ascertained from the high priest,
and then bid the three to look for the newly Anointed of the Jews in Judea with all diligence and, when they should find Him, to promptly return to him without fail, so he too might come and do homage to the Child.
But do you know, my very dear friend Joseph, that I trust neither the Persians, and least of all that beyond all measure tyrannical Herod!
The Persians are said to be Magi and are said to have discovered the birth through a strange star. I do not seek to question that at all; for if such great wonders have become manifest here at the birth of this little Boy, then this can also have happened in Persia.
But that is just the most critical circumstance in the matter, for it obviously concerns this Child! If the Persians find Him, then Herod will also find Him,
and we will then have to exercise all our wits to get out of the claws of the old fox!
Therefore you must, as already said, remain here in this out-of-the-way place for at least three more days, in which time I will surely be able to give the matter a turn for the better as concerns the seekers of the King, for you see, I am in command here of twelve legions of soldiers! More I do not need to tell you for your peace of mind. Now you know what is necessary, so stay! I am leaving again now and will return to you around noon.'
Joseph, intimidated along with his family by this news, remained and awaited the Lord's will in all resignation to see what would come of this strange turn of events.
And when he told Mary what he had just heard from the captain,
Mary replied,'The Lord's will be done! How many bitter things have we experienced up to now - and the Lord has changed them all into honey!
Surely the Persians will not harm us either if they should really come to see us, and if they should desire to use any sort of mercenary force on us, we then have the captain's protection through the grace of God!'
Joseph said, 'Mary, all that is in the best order! I do not fear the Persians too much either, but the greybearded Herod, that rending animal in human form, he it is whom I fear, and the captain also has an aversion of him.
For in the event it is proved through the Persians that our little Boy is the newly anointed King, then nothing will remain for us but abject flight!
For then our captain also, because of Roman reasons of state, will have to become our enemy for the sake of his own salvation and instead of saving us will have to persecute us if he does not wish to be regarded as disloyal to the emperor!
And that he must surely realize privately, since he himself made known his anything but small misgivings concerning Herod to me.
For that reason, I would say, he is having us wait here for three more days! If matters go well, he will surely remain our friend,
but if things go badly, he already has us at hand to deliver us to the cruelty of Herod, and in addition will receive a great decoration from his emperor for it because he in such a clever way removed a Jewish King from the world who one day might become dangerous to the state!'
And Mary said: 'Joseph! Do not bring useless anxiety on' yourself and on me! See, we did drink the accursed water, and no harm came upon me! Why then should we be afraid now, since we have already seen and confirmed so much of God's glory on account of this Child?
Come what may, I tell you - the Lord is mightier than the Persians, Herod, the emperor of Rome and the captain along with his twelve legions! So be calm, as you see that I am calm.
And besides, I am convinced that the captain will first leave no stone unturned before he would become our enemy from force of circumstance!'
At this the good and devout Joseph regained his composure, awaited the captain and in the meantime had his sons heat the cave and cook a few fruits for Mary, himself and the sons.