Biographical Gospel of the Lord

- Chapter 43 -
Cyrenius Buys A Villa

N THE MORNING of the following day Cyrenius promptly sent a messenger to the commander of the military garrison and invited him to come to him as soon as he reasonably could, but without any ceremony.
And the commander came to Cyrenius and said, 'Exalted vice-regent of the great emperor in Coelo-Syria and supreme commander of Tyre and Sidon, I await your wishes!'
Cyrenius replied, 'Most esteemed commander! In the first place I desire that no marks of honor be accorded me this time, for I am here incognito.
Secondly I would like to find out from you whether it is possible to buy or at least rent an unpretentious dwelling here, either in the city itself or some villa not too far from the city.
For I would like to buy something like that for a very highly esteemed and most honorable Jewish family.
This family has been forced to flee Palestine for reasons well known to us, pursued by that rare Herod, and now seeks protection under our Roman tolerance and constantly firm justice.
I have closely investigated the background of this family and found it to be just and without blemish - but that as such it cannot hold out under Herod is just as understandable as it is understandable that this abominable creature of a tetrarch of Palestine and a part of Judea is Rome's greatest enemy.
I believe you understand just what I mean by that. I therefore would like to buy a small and useful piece of property here for his said family.
If you know of anything like that, do me the favor and let me know. You see, I cannot remain here very long this time, for important matters await me in Tyre, so everything must be arranged still today.'
Here the commander said to Cyrenius, 'Most illustrious ruler! Then the matter is soon taken care of - for I have built a nice little villa for myself about half a mile outside of the city and there developed orchards and three fine acres of corn.
But I just have too little time to properly take care of it. It is wholly my own, so if you want it, I will sell it with everything that goes with it for a hundred pounds, and it can be owned without payment of taxes.'
When Cyrenius heard this he gave his hand to the commander, then had his servant bring his purse and immediately paid the commander in ready money for the villa sight unseen and then, unseen by Joseph, had the commander take him there so he might inspect his purchase.
When he had looked over the to him very pleasing villa, he told his servants to remain in the villa until he returned with the family.
Thereupon he went to the city with the commander, had him draw up the parchment scroll signifying property ownership, took his leave from the commander and then joyfully went to see Joseph.
The latter at once said to him, 'Dear, good friend, I must thank my God for His blessings upon you which have enabled you to bestow so much friendship on me!
I am now saved and had a wonderful lodging here last night. But I must remain in this land - what will the future bring? Where will I live, how make my living? See, I must look to that right away.'
Cyrenius answered, 'Quite so, my greatly esteemed man and friend! Therefore have your family pack up your belongings and come with me bag and baggage, and we will look for something a few hundred steps outside of the city, since I have learned that nothing is available in the city.' - This was quite agreeable to Joseph and he did as Cyrenius wished.