Jesus in Sunem, Ulama, and Capharnaum
In the evening Jesus went through Jezrael and about three hours further to Sunem, an open place on a hill. Some of the disciples had gone on before, in order to make arrangements with the landlord of the inn at the entrance of the city. The fertile valley through which Jesus had just passed lay to the south of Jezrael. He went through a part of Jezrael without attracting notice, and then turned northward toward Sunem. Near this city, that is at a distance of one to two hours, are two others, one of which Jesus had passed on His way from Kisloth-Thabor to Jezrael.
The inhabitants of Sunem depended upon weaving for their livelihood. They wove narrow edging of twisted silk, plain or interspersed with flowers. Sunem did not lie in the vale of Esdrelon, but rather where the mountains took their rise.
The multitude that here pressed around Jesus was simply astonishing, and it was ever on the increase. The people surrounded Him everywhere, cast themselves down before Him, crying and shouting that a new Prophet had arisen, One sent by God! Many were sincere in their acclamations, but others followed through curiosity and shouted merely to swell the noise. The crowd was so dense that it was almost like an insurrection, and because here in Galilee the excitement was daily increasing, Jesus resolved soon to leave it. Sunem was the native city of the beautiful Abisag who had served David in his old age. Eliseus also had had an inn here at which he frequently stopped and in which he had recalled the dead son of his hostess to life. A vision of the same was vouchsafed me, that I might know the place. This city possessed also a free inn for certain travelers. It had been founded as a memorial of Eliseus. I know not, however, whether it was the house that the Prophet once occupied, or whether it was another built upon the same site. Jesus taught on this day in the synagogue and visited many of the houses to console and cure the sick. Sunem was built rather irregularly around a hill whose summit overlooked the city. A road led up the hill. The houses upon it decreased in size with the ascent, the highest being mere huts. The top of the hill was crowned by an open space upon which stood a teacher’s seat. It was surrounded by palings over which an awning could be stretched for protection from the sun.
When Jesus, on the morning of the following day, started with His disciples for the teacher’s chair, the whole place was alive with excitement. They had brought numbers of sick in litters, and had placed them all along the road leading up the hill. Jesus ascended through the clamoring multitude, healing as He went. The people had mounted to the roofs, the better to see and hear all that He would do and say. From the teacher’s chair on the top of the hill the view was magnificent, stretching off toward Thabor. Jesus inveighed against the pride and presumption of the Sunemites who, instead of being converted, doing penance, and keeping the Commandments of God, broke forth into vain shouts over the Prophet that had come among them, the Sent from God, for they attributed His coming as an honor due their own merit, whereas He had come in order to convince them of their sins.
About three in the afternoon Jesus left Sunem. Taking a northerly direction, He reached, in about three hours, a large and closely built city with a less ancient appearance than Sunem. It was enclosed by walls so broad that trees flourished upon them. This city was called Ulama and was about five hours southeast of Thabor. Arbela was about two hours to the north. The rough roads of the surrounding mountains were covered with sharp, white pebbles, on which account there were made in Ulama numbers of soles to bind as a protection under the feet. The city was built on a mountain, surrounded by other mountains, and in an altogether impassable region. Vines covered those mountains from base to summit. I have seen upon them plants as high as a tree, their tangled branches as thick as one’s arm. They produce large, pyriform fruits like gourds, and from them flasks are made.1 Ulama did not appear so old as other cities; indeed, there was something about it that even made it look unfinished. The inhabitants did not bear the stamp of old Jewish simplicity, they appeared to be aiming at greater culture and refinement. It was as if the Romans or some other nation had formerly sojourned among them. Here as elsewhere, the concourse of people was very great, for they knew that Jesus was about to celebrate the Sabbath in Ulama. Several of the disciples had rejoined Jesus, among them Peter’s half-brother Jonathan and the sons of the widows. They numbered, in all, twenty. Peter, Andrew, John, James the Less, Nathanael Chased, and Nathanael the bridegroom had also come. Jesus had directed them to do so that they might hear His instructions and assist Him in His ministrations to the sick, rendered difficult by the turbulence of the multitude. The people had found out the way by which Jesus was to come, and they went forth to welcome Him, carrying green branches and strewing leaves. They had stretched across the road long strips of stuff which they lowered for Him to step over, while shouts of joy proclaimed the advent of the Prophet. The chief officers of the place maintained order and formally saluted Jesus in the name of the city.
There were in Ulama many possessed, who clamored violently after Jesus and shouted His name. But He commanded them to be silent. Even at the inn they allowed Him no rest. They ran about raging and screaming, until He again ordered them to be silent and had them removed.
Ulama had three schools: one of jurisprudence; another for youths; and the third, the synagogue. Jesus entered different houses, to cure and to console. Then He taught in the school, speaking especially upon simplicity and of the respect due to parents; for in both of these particulars the people of this place were wanting. He rebuked them severely also for their pride. Vain at the thought of a Prophet’s coming among them, they were by their presumption depriving themselves of the benefits attached to these days of penance and instruction.
The Sabbath over, the distinguished men of the place gave Jesus an entertainment in the grand public hall. The Apostles and disciples that had gone home limited themselves to a mere visit to their relatives. They had then called upon Mary, with whom the holy women were becoming more and more intimate.
The Baptist was still in the same place, his followers constantly diminishing. Herod had several times been to see him and had frequently sent his officers for the same purpose.
At nine o’clock on the morning after the Sabbath, Jesus went with His disciples to a mountain along which was a pleasure garden or bathing place, about a quarter of an hour from the city. The garden was almost as large as the cemetery of Dulmen.2 It had pavilions and little summer houses, a beautiful fountain, and a place for instruction. Jesus had directed the sick, of whom there were numbers, to be transported thither from the city, for He could not, on account of the crowd, cure in the latter place. The disciples busied themselves in the maintenance of order, and the sick on their litters were placed around under tents and in the pavilions. The crowds that followed from the city were so great that many could not even reach the garden. The magistrates and priests also kept order. Jesus passed from litter to litter curing many. When I say, I generally mean about thirty. When I say or , I mean about ten. Jesus taught and alluded to the death of Moses, whose anniversary would soon be celebrated by a fast day, when their food already cooked would be placed under the ashes, and when they would eat, as was usual on such days, a particular kind of bread. He also referred to the Promised Land and its fertility, which was to be understood not only of the material sustenance of the body, but also of the spiritual nourishment of the soul; for it was also fruitful in Prophets and oracles from God, the fruit of which would be penance and the salvation promised to all that would embrace it.
This instruction ended, I saw Jesus going into a building nearby wherein the possessed had been assembled. He entered to find them raging and shouting. They were for the most part young people, some of them only children. Jesus caused them to be placed in a row, commanded silence, and with one word freed them from the evil spirit. Some of them fell fainting. Their parents and friends were present, and to all Jesus addressed some words of exhortation and instruction.
After Jesus had taught in the synagogue, He left the city unnoticed, the disciples having gone before Him. He knew how to manage that. Without entering any of the cities on the way, they proceeded toward Capharnaum. Jesus was about to leave Galilee on account of the great excitement there prevailing. He travelled with the disciples the livelong night, and arrived at His Mother’s in the morning. Peter’s wife and sister were there, also the bride of Cana and other women. The house that Mary occupied here was for the most part like its neighbors and very roomy. She was never alone.
The widows lived nearby and the women from Bethsaida and Capharnaum, between which these houses were, gathered around her as also one or other of the disciples. I saw them keeping the fast with signs of mourning, the women being veiled. Jesus taught in the synagogue of Capharnaum, the disciples and holy women being present.
Capharnaum was situated, measuring in a straight line over the mountain, about one hour from the Sea of Galilee, but two hours if one went through the valley and through Bethsaida on the south. About a good half-hour on the road from Capharnaum to Bethsaida were the houses, in one of which Mary dwelt. A beautiful stream flows from Capharnaum to the lake. Near Bethsaida it branched off into several arms, rendering the land very fruitful. Mary conducted no household, she owned neither cattle nor fields. She lived as a widow upon the gifts of her friends, engaged in spinning, sewing, knitting with little wooden needles, praying, consoling, and instructing the other women.
Jesus, on the day of His arrival, had a private interview with His Mother. She wept over the great danger threatening Him on account of the excitement everywhere produced by His teachings and miracles, for she had been informed of all the murmurs and calumnies uttered against Him by those that would not presume to say them to His face. But Jesus told her that His time was come, that He would soon leave those parts and go down to Judea where, after the Pasch, still greater vexation would arise on His account.
That evening there began in Capharnaum a feast of thanksgiving for rain. The synagogue and other public buildings were gaily ornamented with young green trees and pyramids of foliage, while from the galleries on the roof of the synagogue and other large edifices, a wonderful, many-toned instrument was sounded. The servants of the synagogue, people like our sextons, played on it. It looked like a bag about four feet in length in which were several pipes and trumpet mouthpieces. When the bag was not distended with wind, these pipes and tubes lay together, one upon another. But when it was inflated by the breath of a man blowing into one of the mouthpieces, two other men raised it up and (either by blowing the breath, or by means of a bellows) introduced air into it. Then by opening and closing the different valves of the pipes, which arose in several directions, a shrill-sounding, many-voiced tone was produced. Those standing at the side of the instrument blew into it at certain intervals.
Jesus delivered in the synagogue an extremely touching discourse upon rain and drought. In it He told of Elias, who prayed on Mt. Carmel for rain and six times questioned his servant as to what he saw. The seventh time, the servant replied that he saw a little cloud rising out of the sea. It became larger and larger until at last it bore rain to the whole country. Then Elias journeyed through the whole land. Jesus applied those seven questionings of Elias to the space of time before the fulfillment of the Promise. The cloud He explained as a symbol of the present and the rain as an image of the coming of the Messiah, whose teaching should spread everywhere and bear new life to all. Whoever thirsted should now drink, and whoever had prepared his field should now receive rain. This was said so touchingly, so impressively that all His hearers, as well as Mary and the other holy women, wept.
The people of Capharnaum were at that time very well disposed. There were three priests attached to the synagogue and near it was the house in which they dwelt. Jesus and His intimate disciples often took their meals with them, for a certain degree of hospitality was always extended to the teacher who had taught in the synagogue.
That evening and early the next morning, I heard them playing again on that wonderful instrument. The feast was celebrated all the next day, but only by the children and young people, who enjoyed themselves heartily. The evening of the feast, Jesus took leave of the disciples related to Him, as also those from Bethsaida, because early the next day He was to depart from Capharnaum and go down into Judea. He took with Him only about twelve, those from Nazareth, those from Jerusalem, and those that had come from John.
Jesus in Dothain and Sephoris. From a Distance, He Helps the Shipwrecked
After the Feast of Thanksgiving Jesus, with about twelve disciples, travelled in a southeasterly direction from Capharnaum, as if between Cana and Sephoris. Mary and eight of the holy women, among them Mary Cleophas, the three widows, the bride of Cana, and Peter’s sister, accompanied Him to a little city where they took a meal together and then parted from Him. In the neighborhood of this place was the pit into which Joseph was cast by his brethren. The place was called Dothain. But there was another and a much larger Dothain in the vale of Esdrelon, about four hours to the north of Samaria. This Dothain was a little place, and the people lived chiefly by providing for the wants of the merchants travelling through their city. It lay at the end of a little valley large enough to afford pasturage for about eighty head of cattle. At the other side stood that great building in which Jesus had once calmed the possessed; this time He did not enter. Dothain is an hour and a half northeast of Sephoris and between four and five hours from Mt. Thabor.
The disciples had gone on before, to prepare the inn. About eight men, some of them priests, came out to meet Jesus and the holy women, and escort them to the public hall of entertainment. No one lived in it, but already everything was prepared for a repast. Before the entrance there was spread in honor of Jesus a carpet upon which He had to walk. They washed His feet. The women ate apart, back of the fireplace. Jesus and the disciples reclined at table and partook of only cold viands, such as little rolls and honey, green salad steeped in sauce, and fruits. Their drink was water mixed with balsam. Little flasks of the same were presented to Jesus and the women to take away with them. The priests from the city remained standing during the repast and served the guests with uncommon love and humility, while Jesus spoke of Joseph, who had here been sold. It was an indescribably touching scene. I could not restrain my tears. It appeared to me so strange that I should behold it so near to me, and yet could not enter as I so longed to do. I wanted to do this and that, but I could not. Immediately after the repast, the holy women departed for Capharnaum.
Jesus took leave of His Mother in private, and then bade goodbye to the others. I have remarked that when alone Jesus always embraced His Mother on His arrival or departure, but before others He merely extended His hand or inclined His head. Mary wept. She was still very youthful looking, tall and delicately built. Her forehead was very high, her nose rather long, her eyes very large and mildly downcast, her lips of a beautiful red, her complexion rather dark, but beautiful, and her cheeks lightly tinged with the color of the rose.
Jesus tarried a while longer teaching in the inn, and the men, who would accept no remuneration for the repast, accompanied Him on His departure as far as Joseph’s Well, which was at that time not such as it was when Joseph was let down into it. Then it was only an empty pit, its mouth surrounded by green bushes and vines, but now it was a spacious, four-cornered reservoir, like a little pool, under a roof supported by pillars. It was full of water and in it was kept an abundance of fish. I saw some that lifted their heads up so curiously, not pointed like those we see. But they were not so large as similar ones in the Sea of Galilee. There was no visible supply of water to the well. There was a fence around it, and it was guarded by people living near. Jesus entered the springhouse with His companions. The whole way He had taught of Joseph and his brethren, and He continued the same discourse at the well, which I saw Him blessing as He left. His escort now returned to Dothain, while He and His disciples went on for about a good hour to Sephoris, where He stopped with the sons of Anne’s sister.
Sephoris was built on a mountain in the midst of mountains. It was larger than Capharnaum, and there were many separate residences standing around in the environs. Jesus was not very well received by the Doctors of the synagogue, and I heard wicked people, of whom there were many in this city, calumniating Him, saying that He was wandering about instead of staying with His Mother. Jesus performed no cures here, and held Himself very much aloof; still, on the Sabbath He preached in the synagogue and went to an inn nearby for His meals. He visited many private individuals and families, principally Essenians, however, whom He exhorted and consoled, for many of the wicked inhabitants ridiculed and slandered them, on account of their affection for Him. Jesus told several of those that lived in the environs, as also some of His own relatives, not to follow Him just then, but to remain His friends in secret, and to continue their good works until the end of His career. His relatives did much good here and contributed also to the support of the Blessed Virgin, to whom they sent all kinds of necessaries. I saw Jesus conversing with these different families in so affectionate and intimate a way that I have no words to describe it. His deportment, so full of love, touched me to tears.
That night I saw something else that appeared to me surprising and inexpressibly affecting. There happened on that night a great windstorm in the Holy Land, and I saw Jesus with many others in prayer. He prayed with outstretched hands that danger might be averted. Then I had a glance at the Sea of Galilee, which was lashed by the tempest, the ships of Peter, Andrew, and Zebedee being in distress. The Apostles were, as I saw, asleep in Bethania, their servants alone being on the ships. And lo! As Jesus stood praying, I saw an apparition of Him there upon the ships, now on one, now on the other, and then again upon the raging billows. It was as if He were laboring among them, holding back the vessels, warding off the danger. He was not there in person, for I did not see Him going, but He stood above the sufferers, He hovered on the waves. The sailors did not see Him, for it was His spirit assisting them in prayer. Nobody knew anything about His being there, though He was really helping them. Perhaps the sailors believed in Him and called on Him for help.
Jesus in Nazareth. The Three Youths. The Feast of Purim.
From Sephoris Jesus took a byway around some country houses to Nazareth about two hours distant, teaching and consoling as He went. Among the disciples now with Him were two or three youths, sons of Essenian widows. Arrived at Nazareth, He put up with some acquaintances, and without being remarked visited several good people. The Pharisees, with an outward show of respect but inwardly full of malice, called upon Jesus to ask Him what He now purposed doing and why He did not stay with His Mother, which questions He answered gravely and sharply. Preparations were going on all around for the fast day observed in remembrance of Esther, also for that of the Feast of Purim immediately to follow. Jesus taught very zealously in the synagogue.
That night I again saw Jesus praying with outstretched arms, and again appearing on the Sea of Galilee to bear help in a storm. This time the distress was much greater, and many more vessels were in danger. I saw Jesus laying His hand on the helm without the helmsman’s seeing Him. The three rich youths of Nazareth who had once before vainly proffered their petition to Him to be received as disciples came to Him again, reiterating their request. They almost knelt to Him, but He sent them away after pointing out certain conditions that had to be fulfilled before He would allow them to join His disciples. Jesus knew well that their views were wholly terrestrial, and that they could not understand Him. They wanted to follow Him because they saw in Him a philosopher, a learned Rabbi. After a time spent in His school, they could, as they thought, shine with a more brilliant reputation and do honor to their city Nazareth. They were besides somewhat vexed at seeing Him giving the preference to the poor sons of Nazareth rather than to themselves.
Until far into the night I saw Jesus with the old Essenian, Eliud of Nazareth. The holy man looked as if he would soon die of old age. He was no longer able for much, indeed he was almost bedridden. Jesus leaned on His arm at the bedside and talked with him. Eliud was entirely absorbed in God.
At the commencement of the Feast of Purim, a musical instrument, which stood on three feet, was again played on the roof of the synagogue. It was hollow with pipes running through it, the ends extending both above and below. By pushing the pipes in and out, the music was produced. Children also were playing on harps and flutes. Today in commemoration of Esther, the women and young maidens enjoyed certain rights and privileges in the synagogue. They were not separated from the men, they could even approach where the priests were. There was a pro-cession in the synagogue of children dressed fancifully, some in white, others in red. Then a maiden entered wearing around her neck an ornament somewhat frightful looking. It was a blood-red circle around her throat, as if she had been beheaded, and from it hung on her white garments, numerous knots of blood-red threads like so many streaks of blood from the wounded neck. She wore a magnificent mantle borne by train-bearers, and appeared to be enacting the principal part in some drama. Children and maidens followed her. She wore a high, pointed ornament on the forepart of her head and a long veil. In her hand she carried something, whether a sword or a scepter, I do not know. She was tall, and a maiden of great beauty. I do not know for certain what distinguished character she represented. It might, I think, have been Esther, or again, Judith, though not that Judith who slew Holofernes, for there was with her a maiden, who carried a beautiful basket containing presents for the chief priest. She presented to him many precious little shields, such as the priests wore sometimes on the forehead or the breast. In one corner of the synagogue, concealed by a curtain, lay upon a bed of state the effigy of a man, whose head the maiden struck off and took to the chief priest. Then, making use of the privilege granted to females on that day, she rebuked the priests for the principal faults they had committed during the year. That done, she withdrew. This privilege to rebuke the priests belonged to the women on certain other feasts also.
In the synagogue they read in turn from separate rolls the Book of Esther, Jesus also taking His turn to read. The Jews, especially the children, had little wooden tablets with hammers. When they pulled a string, the hammer struck a name inscribed on the tablet, while at the same time holders uttered some words. They did this as often as the name of Aman was pronounced.
There were also great banquets. Jesus was present at that given to the priests in the grand public hall. The adornments of this feast were similar to those of the Feast of Tabernacles. There were numbers of wreaths, roses as large as one’s head, pyramids made up entirely of flowers, and quantities of fruit. A whole lamb was on the table, and I gazed in wonder at the magnificence of the plates, glasses, and dishes. There was one kind of dish many-colored and transparent, like precious stones. They looked as if formed of interwoven threads of colored glass. There was today a great exchange of gifts, consisting principally of jewels and handsome articles of apparel, such as robes, maniples, veils for the head, and sashes trimmed with tassels. Jesus, too, was presented with a holiday robe trimmed in like manner. But He would not keep it; He passed it to another. Many others likewise bestowed their presents on the poor, who were very bountifully remembered that day.
After the banquet, Jesus and His disciples walked with the priests to the pleasure gardens, and the beautifully adorned teaching places near Nazareth. They had with them three rolls of writings, and I saw again the Book of Esther, out of which they read in turn. Crowds of youths and maidens followed them, but the latter listened to the discourse only at a distance. I saw also on that day men going around and taking up a tax.
From Nazareth Jesus and His disciples went to Apheca about four hours distant, but returned to Nazareth for the following Sabbath and visited the dying Eliud. The priests of Nazareth could not comprehend where Jesus, in so short an absence, had come by so much knowledge. They could find nothing reprehensible in His teaching, though many were secretly envious of Him. They escorted Him part of the way when He left Nazareth with His disciples.
Jesus at Lazarus’ Estate Near Thirza and at His Home in Bethania
Jesus, taking the road travelled by the Holy Family on the occasion of their flight into Egypt, arrived with His disciples at the little place not far from Legio where the Holy Family had put up and where lived a set of despised people like slaves. Jesus bought some bread here, and as He divided it, it was multiplied in His hands; but the miracle created no excitement, since He did not tarry long and performed it, as it were, in passing.
Proceeding on His journey, He was met by Lazarus, John Marc, and Obed, who had come for that purpose. With them Jesus went on to Lazarus’ villa near Thirza, about five hours distant. They arrived unnoticed and by night, and found all things ready for their reception. The villa was on a mountain toward Samaria, not far from Jacob’s field. A very old Jew, who went barefoot and girt, was the steward, an office he had held even when Mary and Joseph stopped here on their journey to Bethlehem. It was at this same villa that Martha and Magdalen, in Jesus’ last year when He was teaching in Samaria, showed Him hospitality and implored Him to come to their brother Lazarus who was sick.
Near that estate of Lazarus was the then small city of Thirza, situated in a lovely region about seven hours’ journey from Samaria. The morning sun, to which Thirza was exposed, rendered it extremely fruitful in grain, wine, and orchard fruits. The inhabitants were engaged chiefly in agriculture, the products of which they carried to a distance for sale. The city was once large and handsome and the residence of kings, but the palace had been consumed by fire and the city ruined by war. One king, Amri, had made that property of Lazarus his home until the building of Samaria, whither he then removed. The people of Thirza were in Jesus’ time very pious and lived very retired in their little, isolated city. I think there are some remains of it even in our own day. The inhabitants were very reserved in their intercourse with the Samaritans. ( 16:24). Jesus taught in the synagogue of Thirza, but performed no cures.
On the Sabbath began the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple of Zorobabel. It was not so solemn as the dedication feast of the Machabees, though in the houses, in the streets, out in the fields among the shepherds, and in the synagogue there were numbers of lights and fires. Jesus spent the greater part of the day in the synagogue with all the disciples. His meals were taken at Lazarus’, but He ate sparingly. The greatest portion of the food was distributed to the poor of Thirza, of whom there were large numbers. Such distributions were constantly made during His stay. The city still possessed, in ancient walls and towers, some remains of its former greatness. It is probable that the house of Lazarus, which was now fifteen minutes from the city, was formerly comprised within its limits, for the gardens were interspersed with all kinds of ruined walls and foundations. Lazarus inherited this property from his father. Here as elsewhere, he was held in great honor and esteem as a very wealthy and pious, yes, a very enlightened man. His deportment rendered him very distinguished from other men. He was remarkably grave and spoke very little, but that little with great mildness and to the point.
When the feast was over, Jesus left Thirza with Lazarus and the disciples, and proceeded on His journey to Judea. The direction was that taken by Mary and Joseph when going to Bethlehem, though the road was not exactly the same, but it ran through the same region, through the mountains near Samaria. I saw them climbing a high mountain on a night that was lovely, mild and clear, a beneficent dew bathing the whole region. There were about eighteen companions with Jesus, and they walked two and two, some before Him, some behind Him, and some at His side. When the breadth of the road permitted, Jesus often stood still to instruct them and to pray. A great part of the night was spent on this journey. Toward morning they rested and took a light repast, after which carefully shunning the cities and towns, they continued their way over a mountain on which the air blew keen and cold.
Not far from Samaria, I saw Jesus going along with about six of His disciples. A young man from the city cast himself down on the road before Him, saying: “Saviour of men, Thou that art to free Judea and restore to her her former glory,” etc. Thinking that Christ was about to found an earthly kingdom, he begged to be received into the number of His followers in the hope of being appointed to some post of distinction. He was an orphan, but had inherited large possessions from his father, and he held some kind of an office in Samaria. Jesus treated him very graciously. He told him that on his return He would say whether He would receive him or not, that He was pleased with his good will and humility, and that He had nothing to say against what he alleged, etc. But I saw that Jesus knew how greatly the young man was attached to his riches and that, wishing to give him a lesson, He would not vouchsafe him an answer until after He had chosen the Apostles. The young man came once more to Jesus and that second visit is recorded in the Gospel.
In the evening before the Sabbath began, I saw them arrive at the shepherd inn between the two deserts, about four or five hours from Bethania. Mary and the holy women stayed there overnight when they went to Bethania, to see Jesus before the Baptism. The shepherds from the country around gathered together bringing gifts and other necessaries. The inn was transformed into an oratory, a lamp was lighted, and there they remained. Jesus taught here and celebrated the Sabbath. While travelling on this mountainous and lonely road, He stopped likewise at the place where Mary on her journey to Bethlehem had suffered so from the cold and where after-ward she had been miraculously warmed.
Jesus and His disciples spent the whole of the Sabbath among these shepherds, who were so happy to have Him and so deeply moved by His presence. Even Jesus Himself appeared brighter among these simple, innocent people. After the Sabbath He went on to Bethania four hours distant.
Jesus’ First Paschal Celebration In Jerusalem
While at Bethania, Jesus occupied the same room at Lazarus’ as formerly. It was the family oratory and was fitted up like a synagogue. In the center stood the usual desk with the prayer rolls and Scriptures. Jesus’ sleeping chamber was a little room adjoining.
The morning after His arrival, Martha went to Jerusalem to notify Mary Marcus and the other women that Jesus was coming with her brother to the house of the former. Jesus and Lazarus arrived toward midday. There were present at the dinner besides Veronica, Johanna Chusa, and Susanna, the disciples of Jesus and of John belonging to Jerusalem, John Marc, Simeon’s sons, Veronica’s son, and Joseph of Arimathea’s nephews, about nine men in all. Nicodemus and Joseph were not there. Jesus spoke of the nearness of the Kingdom of God, of His disciples’ call, of their following Him, and even hinted at His own Passion.
John Marc’s house was beyond the city, on the eastern side and opposite the Mount of Olives. Jesus did not have to enter the city in order to reach it. That evening He returned with Lazarus to Bethania. Here and there in Jerusalem it was noised about that the new Prophet of Nazareth was in Bethania, and many rejoiced at the news, though there were others whom it displeased. In the gardens and on the roads of the Mount of Olives there were loitering here and there people, among them some Pharisees, to see Jesus as He passed. They may have heard accidentally or found out in Bethania that He was to return to the city. But no one accosted Him. Some hid timidly behind the hedges and peeped out after Him. They said to one another: “There is the Prophet of Nazareth, Joseph the carpenter’s Son!”
On account of the approaching feast, numbers were at work in the gardens and on the hedges. All was being arranged and ornamented, the paths cleared, the hedges clipped and tied up. From all sides poor Jews and laboring people with asses laden with baggage were wending their way to Jerusalem. During the feast they hired by the day in the city and gardens. Simon, who later on was forced to help Jesus carry His Cross, was one of these people.
The next day Jesus was again in Jerusalem. He was at a house near the Temple, that of Obed, the son of Simeon, also at another opposite the Temple, one in which old Simeon’s family had once dwelt. There He partook of a repast that had been prepared and sent by Martha and the other women. The disciples belonging to Jerusalem, about nine in number, and some other devout men were present, but not Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. Jesus spoke very lovingly and earnestly of the near corning of the Kingdom of God. He had not yet gone to the Temple.
He went fearlessly about the city, clad in a long, white robe of woven material such as Prophets usually wore. Sometimes there was nothing remarkable in His appearance, and He passed along without attracting attention, but at others He looked quite extraordinary, His countenance shining with a supernatural light. When in the evening He returned to Bethania, some of John’s disciples came to Him, among them Saturnin. They saluted Him and told Him on the part of John that very few now came to him for baptism, but that Herod still continued to harass him. That same evening Nicodemus went to Bethania and heard at Lazarus’ the instruction given by Jesus.
On the following morning Jesus went to Simon the Pharisee’s, an inn or public house in Bethania. He gave an entertainment at which Nicodemus, Lazarus, John’s disciples, and the disciples from Jerusalem met. Martha also and the women of Jerusalem were present. Nicodemus scarcely said a word in Jesus’ presence. He behaved with reserve and listened in astonishment to His words. But Joseph of Arimathea was more open-hearted, and sometimes even put questions to Jesus. Simon the Pharisee was not a bad man, though as yet very wavering. He held to Jesus’ party on account of his friendship for Lazarus, but at the same time he desired to stand well with the Pharisees.
During the meal Jesus made many allusions to the Prophets and the fulfilling of their Prophecies. He spoke of the wonders attending the conception of John the Baptist, of God’s protecting him from Herod’s massacre of the children, and of his now being engaged preparing the ways. He drew their attention to man’s indifference respecting the completion of the time marked by the Prophets. “It was fulfilled thirty years ago, and yet who thinks of it excepting a few devout, simple-minded people? Who now recalls the fact that three Kings, like an army from the East, followed a star with childlike faith seeking a newborn King of the Jews, whom they found in a poor child of poor parents? Three days did they spend with these poor people! Had their coming been to the child of a distinguished prince, it would not have been so easily forgotten!” Jesus, however, did not say that He Himself was that Child.
Accompanied by Lazarus and Saturnin, He visited the homes of several poor, pious sick people of the working class in Bethania, and cured about six of them. Some were lame, some dropsical, and others afflicted with melancholy. Jesus commanded those that He cured to go outdoors and sit in the sun. Up to this time there was very little excitement about Jesus in Bethania, and even these cures produced none. The presence of Lazarus, for whom they felt great reverence, kept the enthusiasm of the people in check.
That evening, upon which began the first day of the month Nisan, there was a feast celebrated in the synagogue. It appeared to be the Feast of the New Moon, for there was a kind of illumination in the synagogue. There was a disc like the moon which, during the recitation of prayers, shone with ever increasing brilliancy, owing to the lights lit one after another by a man behind it.
The next day Jesus was present at divine service in the Temple with Lazarus, Saturnin, Obed, and other disciples. A ram was sacrificed. The appearance of Jesus in the Temple produced a peculiar excitement among the Jews. The strangest part of it was that each concealed the impression made upon him; no one mentioned to his neighbor the wonderful effect of Jesus’ presence upon him. This was a divine dispensation, in order to allow the Saviour to fulfill His mission. Had they imparted their thoughts to one another, it would have given rise to open anger; but as it was, hatred and rage struggled with gentler emotions in the hearts of many, while others felt within them an almost imperceptible desire to know Jesus better, and took steps to do so through the mediation of others. This was a fast day in memory of the death of Aaron’s children.
The disciples and many other devout persons were gathered together at Lazarus’. Jesus taught in a large hall in which was a teacher’s chair. He continued the discourse begun in the house of Simon the Pharisee in which He had spoken of the Three Kings, and He drew the attention of His hearers to other facts of the past. He said: “It is now about eighteen years ago since a little ” (by which Jesus must have meant a young scholar) “argued most wonderfully with the Doctors of the Law who, in consequence, were filled with wrath against the Child.” And then He related to them the teachings of the little .
Jesus with Obed, who served in the Temple, and the other disciples of Jerusalem, went again to the Temple for the celebration of the Sabbath. They stood two by two among the young Israelites. Jesus wore a white, woven robe with a girdle, and a white mantle like those used by the Essenians, but there was something very distinguished about Him. His clothing looked remarkably fresh and elegant, probably because wore it. He chanted and prayed from the parchment rolls in turn with the others. There were some prayer leaders present. The people were again struck at the sight of Jesus. They were astonished, they wondered at Him, though without having said a word to Him. Even among themselves they did not speak openly of Him, but I saw the wonderful impression made on many. There were three instructions or discourses delivered: one on the children of Israel, another on their departure from Egypt, and a third on the Paschal lamb. On one of the altars was a sacrifice of incense. The priest could not be seen, though the fumes and the fire were visible. The fire could be seen through a kind of grating upon which there was something like a Paschal lamb surrounded by rays and ornaments through which sparkled the fire. This altar stood near the Holy of Holies, its horns apparently entering it. I saw Pharisees praying, some of them wearing wrapped around one arm a long, narrow band that had perhaps once been used as a veil.
About two in the afternoon, Jesus went with His companions into an apartment in the court of Israel, where a repast of fruit and rolls had been prepared. The rolls were twisted like cues, or plaited hair. A steward had been engaged to see to everything. All necessaries could be bought or ordered in the precincts of the Temple itself, and strangers had the right to avail themselves of the privilege. The Temple was so large that it seemed like a little city, and in it one could procure everything. During this repast, Jesus gave an instruction. When the men had finished, the women took some refreshment.
I learned on that day what before I had not known; viz., that Lazarus held a position in the Temple, as amongst us a burgomaster may also be a church warden. He went around with a box and took up a collection. Jesus and His followers remained the whole afternoon in the Temple. I did not see Him back in Bethania before about nine o’clock that night. There were innumerable lamps and lights in the Temple on this Sabbath.
Mary and the other holy women had now left Capharnaum to go to Jerusalem. Their route lay toward Nazareth and passed Thabor, from which district other women came to join them, and then off through Samaria. They were preceded by the disciples from Galilee and followed by servants with the baggage. Among the disciples were Peter, Andrew, and their half-brother Jonathan, the sons of Zebedee, the sons of Mary Cleophas, Nathanael Chased, and Nathanael the bridegroom.
On the fourth of Nisan, Jesus spent the whole morning in the Temple with about twenty disciples, after which He taught at Mary Marcus’ and took a luncheon. He afterward returned to Bethania and went with Lazarus to Simon the Pharisee’s. Already many of the lambs brought to the Temple had been rejected by the priests.
Jesus was again in the Temple and in the afternoon taught at Joseph of Arimathea’s not far from the home of John Marcus, and near a stonecutter’s yard. It was a retired quarter of the city and little frequented by Pharisees. At this period no one feared to be seen in company with Jesus, for hatred against Him had not yet been manifested.
Jesus continued to show Himself still more freely and boldly throughout Jerusalem and in the Temple. He went in with Obed even to the place between the altar of sacrifice and the Temple, where an instruction was being delivered to the priests relative to the Pasch and its ceremonies. The disciples remained back in the court of Israel. The Pharisees were greatly annoyed at seeing Him present at that instruction. Jesus also addressed the people on the streets.
The crowds flowing into Jerusalem kept continually increasing, especially workmen, day laborers, servants, and dealers in the necessaries of life. Around the city and on the open places, crowds of huts and tents had been erected for the accommodation of the multitudes flocking for the Pasch. Many lambs and other cattle had been brought into the city, from the former of which selections had already begun. Numbers of heathens also came to Jerusalem for the feast.
Jesus taught and cured openly in Bethania, even sick strangers were brought to Him. Some relatives of Zachary from the country of Hebron came to invite Him to thither.
He went up again to the Temple. When the priests left after the services, on the place where He was standing among His disciples, Jesus taught them and other good people upon the nearness of the Kingdom of God, the Paschal solemnity, the approaching fulfillment of all the Prophecies and symbols, yes, even of the Paschal lamb itself. His words were earnest and severe, and several priests who were still going here and there in the Temple, were troubled at His discourse and secretly annoyed. Jesus then went back to Bethania, and that night, accompanied by some of the disciples, left with the envoys for Hebron, about four hours to the south.
Preparations for the feast were actively going on in the Temple, and many changes were being made in the interior. Halls and corridors were opened, stands and partitions were removed. The altar could now be approached from many sides, and everything presented quite a different appearance.
Jesus, with the disciples and Zachary’s relatives, proceeded to Hebron by the route running between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. It was at most a journey of five hours. Passing through Juttah, Jesus entered the neighboring city, Hebron, where He taught and quietly cured many sick. He returned to Bethania for the Sabbath. His way led high over mountains, whose exposure to the sun made it very hot. The disciples that had come from John to Jesus in Bethania, now went back to the former.
Jesus went to the Temple on the Sabbath and with Obed penetrated into the court containing the teacher’s chair, from which later on He also taught. Priests and Levites were sitting on the circular seats around the chair, from which a discourse on the Paschal festival was being delivered. The entrance of Jesus threw the assembly into consternation, especially when He started objections and asked questions to which not one of them could answer. Among other things, He told them that the time was approaching when the symbolical Paschal lamb would give place to the reality, then would the Temple and its services come to an end. The language of Jesus was figurative, and yet so clear that my thoughts instantly reverted to the words of the , When they questioned Him as to how He knew that, He answered that His Father had told Him, but He did not say who that Father was.
The Pharisees were highly displeased, though at the same time full of astonishment. They did not venture to contradict Him. Access to that part of the Temple was not permitted to all, but Jesus had entered in quality of Prophet. In His last year He even taught therein.
After the Sabbath, Jesus went to Bethania. I had not as yet seen Him conversing with Mary the Silent. Her end, I think, was near, for she appeared greatly changed. She was lying on the ground on a gray carpet, supported in the arms of her maids, and she was in a kind of swoon. She appeared to me to have drawn nearer to this world of ours, as if she had ever been absent in spirit, but now she appeared to have been brought back again to life. She was now to know that this Jesus here in Bethania, who lived in her own time and in her own vicinity, was He who had to suffer so cruelly. She was still alive in order to experience through compassion, in her own person, the sufferings of Jesus, after which she was soon to die.
On the night of Saturday, Jesus visited her and conversed long with her. Part of the time she sat up on her couch, and part of the time walked around her chamber. She had now the perfect use of her senses. She distinguished between the present and the future, she recognized in Jesus the Saviour and the Paschal Lamb, and she knew that He was to suffer frightfully. All this made her inexpressibly sorrowful. The world appeared to her gloomy and an insupportable weight. But most of all was she grieved at man’s ingratitude, which she foresaw. Jesus spoke long with her of the approach of the Kingdom of God and His own Passion, after which He gave her His blessing and left her. She was soon to die. She was tall and extraordinarily beautiful, white as snow and shining with light. Her hands were like ivory, her fingers long and tapering.
Next morning, Jesus cured openly in Bethania many that had been brought to Him, among them some strangers that had come up for the feast. Some were lame, some were blind. There came to Him also several men connected with the Temple who called Him to account for His actions and conduct. Who, they asked, had authorized Him on the preceding day to take part in the conference held in the Temple? Jesus answered them very gravely, and again spoke of His Father. The Pharisees dared not enter the lists against Him. They felt a certain terror in His presence; they did not know what to make of Him. But next day, Jesus taught again in the Temple. All the Galilean disciples that had been at the marriage feast in Cana had now come to Jesus. Mary and the holy women were stopping with Mary Marcus. Lazarus bought many of the lambs that had been rejected as not fit for the feast and had them slaughtered and divided among the poor day laborers and other workmen.
Jesus Turns the Vendors Out of the Courts of the Temple. The Paschal Supper. Death of Mary the Silent.
When Jesus, with all His disciples, went to the Temple, He found there, ranged around the court of the suppliants, dealers in green herbs, birds, and all kinds of eatables. In a kindly and friendly manner, He accosted them and bade them retire with their goods to the court of the Gentiles. He admonished them gently of the impropriety of taking up a position where the bleating of the lambs, and the noise of the other cattle would disturb the recollection of the worshippers. With the help of the disciples, He assisted the dealers to remove their tables to the places that He pointed out to them.
On this day, Jesus cured many sick strangers in Jerusalem, chiefly poor, lame working people who dwelt in the neighborhood of the Cenacle on Mount Zion. There was an astonishingly great multitude gathered in Jerusalem. The city was surrounded by a perfect encampment of huts and tents. On the large, open places ran building after building, forming long streets wherein all things could be had in large quantities, such as tents, everything necessary for their erection, and whatever was needed for the eating of the Paschal lamb. There were other stores, also, in which such things could be bought or hired. Crowds of day laborers and poor people from all parts of Israel were busied carrying the above mentioned articles here and there, and putting them up. These people had been at work a long time in Jerusalem, clearing away whatever might block up the streets, clipping the hedges, opening the roads, leveling and measuring off the grounds for encampments, and putting up booths and stalls. In the same way for weeks before, the roads and bad crossing places in the country around were being repaired and made ready for travel. All these preparations referred to the Paschal lamb, just as the Baptist’s referred to the true Lamb of God.
When Jesus again went up to the Temple with His disciples, He admonished the dealers a second time to withdraw. Since all the passages were open on account of the immolation of the Paschal lamb soon to take place, many had again crowded up to the court of the suppliants. Jesus bade them withdraw, and shoved their tables away. He acted with more vehemence than on the last occasion. The disciples opened a way for Him through the crowd. Some of the dealers became furious. With violent gesticulations of head and hands they resisted Him, and then it was that Jesus, stretching out His hand, pushed back one of the tables. They were powerless against Him, the place was soon emptied, and all things carried to the exterior court. Then Jesus addressed to them words of warning. He said that twice He had admonished them to remove their goods, and that if He found them there again, He would treat them still more severely. The most insolent insulted Him with: “What will the Galilean, the Scholar of Nazareth, dare to do? We are not afraid of Him.” These taunts began at the moment of their removal. Many were standing around looking at Jesus in amazement. The devout Jews approved His action and praised Him in His absence. They also cried out: “The Prophet of Nazareth!” The Pharisees, who were ashamed and angry at what had occurred, had for days past privately warned the people to refrain from attaching themselves to the stranger during the feast, not to run after Him, nor even to speak much about Him. But the people had become more and more interested in Jesus, for there were already many among them who had heard His teaching or had been cured by Him.
As Jesus left the Temple, He passed a cripple in one of the courts. The man cried after Him. Jesus cured him, and he who had been lame going into the Temple joyfully proclaimed Jesus as his benefactor. Upon this, great excitement arose.
John the Baptist did not come to the feast. He was not a Jew under the Law, nor was he at all like other men. He was, as it were, a clothed with flesh. He had at this time a fresh concourse of aspirants to baptism on account of the multitudes going to Jerusalem.
All was very quiet in Jerusalem that evening. The people were busy in their own homes with cleansing out the leaven and preparing the unleavened bread. All the cooking utensils were covered and hung away. This was done also at Lazarus’ on Mount Sion, where Jesus and His followers were to eat the Paschal lamb. Jesus Himself was present at these preparations, He gave instructions upon them, and all was done by His direction; but the minutiae were not so punctiliously observed as among the other Jews. Jesus explained of what it all was a figure, and how it should be practiced, showing them at the same time what the Pharisees, through want of understanding, had added.
Jesus did not appear in the Temple the next day. He remained in Bethania. I thought, as so many vendors had again crowded into the Temple, something would surely have happened to them had He been there. That afternoon the Paschal lambs were slaughtered in the Temple, and that with indescribable order and celerity. Everyone brought his Paschal lamb on his shoulder, and took his place in order, for there was room enough for all. There were three courts around the altar in which they could stand, but the space between it and the Temple was not open to the people. They that did the slaughtering were behind railings, a table with all that was necessary for their work before them; but they were placed so close to one another that the blood of one lamb sprinkled the neighboring butcher. Their clothes were full of blood. The priests were ranged in several rows up to the altar, passing basins from hand to hand, some full of blood, others empty. Before disemboweling a lamb, the Israelites pressed and kneaded it in a certain way. Then the butcher standing next in order held the animal, while his neighbor with a light grasp easily tore out the intestines.
The flaying was done very expeditiously. They loosened a little piece of skin and fastened it to a round stick provided for the purpose. Then they hung the lamb around their neck, with both hands twisted the stick around, and the skin rolled up on it. Toward evening the slaughter was over. The evening sky was blood-red.
Lazarus, Obed, and Saturnin slaughtered the three lambs that Jesus and His friends were to eat. The meal was taken at Lazarus’ on Mount Sion. It was a large building with two wings. The oven for roasting was in the dining hall, but it was very different from the hearth in the cenacle. It was higher, like the fireplace in Anna and Mary’s house, also like that at Cana. In the thick, perpendicular wall that formed it, were holes wherein the lamb was fastened. It was stretched out and pinned in place with wooden skewers, just as if crucified. The hall was beautifully ornamented and the table, at which they ate in three groups, was exactly like a horizontal cross. At the upper and shorter end of the cross, upon which were many dishes of bitter herbs, Lazarus sat. The Paschal lambs were placed one on each of the arms of the cruciform table and one toward the middle of the lower beam. Jesus, Peter, Saturnin, and Obed sat as follows: Jesus and Peter opposite each other at the left arm of the table, Obed at the right arm, and Saturnin at the lower beam. Around Jesus stood His relatives and the disciples from Galilee, around Obed and Lazarus those from Jerusalem, while John’s disciples gathered around Saturnin. There were pre-sent, in all, over thirty.
The Paschal supper was very different from Jesus’ last Paschal supper, more strictly Judaical. Each here held a staff in his hand, was girded as for a journey, and all ate in haste. Jesus had two staves placed crosswise before Him. They chanted Psalms and, standing, quickly consumed the Paschal lambs. Later on they placed themselves at table in a recumbent position. This supper was different also from that customary among the other Jews at this feast. Jesus explained all to the guests, but omitted the ceremonies that had been added by the Pharisees. He carved the three lambs Himself and
served at table, saying that He did it as their servant. They remained together far into the night, singing and praying.
Jerusalem was so still and solemn during that whole day. The Jews not engaged in the slaughtering of the lambs remained shut up in their houses, which were ornamented with dark green foliage. The immense multitude of people were, after the slaughtering, so busy in the interior of their homes, and all was so still that it produced upon me quite a melancholy impression.
I saw on that day also where all the Paschal lambs for the numerous strangers, of whom many were encamped before the gates, were roasted. Both outside and inside the city, there were built on certain places long, low walls, but so broad that one could walk on them. In these walls were furnace after furnace, and at certain distances lived men who attended to them, and received a small remuneration for their services. At these furnaces, travelers and strangers could, at the different feasts, or at any other time, roast their meat and cook any kind of food. The consuming of the fat of the Paschal lambs went on in the Temple far into the night. After the first watch, the altar was purified, and the doors thrown open at a very early hour the next morning.
Jesus and His disciples spent the night in prayer and with but little sleep at Lazarus’ on Mount Sion. The disciples from Galilee slept in the wings of the building. At daybreak they went up to the Temple, which was lighted by numerous lamps, and to which the people were already flocking from all parts with their offerings. Jesus took His stand in one of the courts with His disciples, and there taught. A crowd of vendors had again pressed into the court of the suppliants and even into that of the women. They were scarcely two steps from the worshippers. As they still came crowding in, Jesus bade the newcomers to keep back, and those that had already taken their position to withdraw. But they resisted, and called upon the guard nearby for help. The latter, not venturing to act of themselves, reported what was taking place to the Sanhedrim. Jesus, meantime, persisted in His command to the vendors to withdraw. When they boldly refused, He drew from the folds of His robe a cord of twisted reeds or slender willow branches and pushed up the ring that held the ends confined, whereupon one half of it opened out into numerous threads like a discipline. With this He rushed upon the vendors, overthrew their tables, and drove back those that resisted, while the disciples, pressing on right and left, shoved His opponents away. And now came a crowd of priests from the Sanhedrim and summoned Jesus to say who had authorized Him to behave so in that place. Jesus answered that, although the Holy Mystery had been taken away from the Temple, yet it had not ceased to be a sacred place and one to which the prayer of so many just was directed. It was not a place for usury, fraud, and for low and noisy traffic. Jesus having alleged the commands of His Father, they asked Him who was His Father. He answered that He had no time then to explain that point to men and even if He did they would not understand, saying which He turned away from them and continued His chase of the vendors.
Two companies of soldiers now arrived on the spot, but the priests did not dare to take action against Jesus. They themselves were ashamed of having tolerated such an abuse. The crowd gathered around declared Jesus in the right, and the soldiers even lent a hand to remove the vendors’ stands and to clear away the overturned tables and wares. Jesus and the disciples drove the vendors to the exterior court, but those that were modestly selling doves, little rolls, and other needful refreshments in the recesses of the wall around the inner court, He did not molest. After that He and His followers went to the court of Israel. It may have been between seven and eight in the morning when all this took place.
On the evening of this day, a kind of procession went out along the valley of Cedron, to cut the first fruits of the harvest.
Jesus on one of the succeeding days cured in the court of the Temple about ten persons, some lame, some mute, and it gave rise to great excitement, for the cured filled the whole place with their acclamations of joy. Again He was summoned to answer for His conduct, which He did in severe words. The people were enthusiastic in His favor. After the divine service, Jesus and the disciples attended the instruction given in a hall of the Temple. The text was from one of the Books of Moses. Jesus offered some objections, for it was a kind of conference in which questions might be raised. He silenced His opponents, and gave an explanation of the disputed points very different from what had before been given.
During all these days Jesus hardly saw His Mother. She was staying with Mary Marcus, passing the livelong day in anxiety, tears, and prayer on account of the excitement roused by the appearance of her Son. Jesus kept the Sabbath at Lazarus’, in Bethania, whither He had retired after the tumult occasioned by the cures wrought in the Temple. After the Sabbath, the Pharisees went to the house of Mary Marcus in Jerusalem, thinking to find Jesus there and to take Him into custody. They were, however, disappointed. They did not find Him, but only His Mother and the other holy women whom, as the followers of Jesus, they commanded with harsh words to leave the city. The Mother of Jesus and the other women became greatly troubled at hearing this, and in tears hurried to Martha in Bethania. Mary, weeping, entered the room wherein Martha was with her sick sister, Mary the Silent. The latter was again quite rapt in ecstasy. All that she had hitherto seen in spirit, she now beheld about to be fulfilled. She could no longer endure the pain it caused her, and she died in the presence of Mary, Mary Cleophas, Martha, and the other women.
Nicodemus, in spite of the open persecution directed against Jesus, visited Him during these days by invitation of Lazarus. I saw Jesus during the night reclining beside him on the ground and instructing him. Before daybreak both started for Jerusalem, where they went to Lazarus’ on Sion. Here came Joseph of Arimathea also to see Jesus. He conversed with them. They humbled themselves before Him, telling Him that they did indeed discern that He was more than human, and they pledged Him lasting fidelity. Jesus commanded them secrecy, and they begged Him to remember them kindly.
After that all the other disciples who had eaten the Pasch with Him came to Jesus. He gave them His commands and instructions for the near future. Extending to Him their hands, they wept, making use of the narrow scarf they wore around the neck or wound around the head to dry their tears.