Digital Readers Club

 

 

On 9/15/2018 we launched our new ministry initiative: the Digital Readers Club. The heart of this weekly gathering is meant to be like an after school book club. We meet every Saturday at 7pm EST for a one hour meeting!

Simply DRC Voice and Text Channel on the Sacred Word Publishing Discord server, https://discord.gg/bNqUFVW

Study Format: 

 - Fellowship - 10 Minutes

 - Reading - 20-30 Minutes

 - Discussion - 10-20 Minutes

 - Questions and Answers- 10-20 Minutes

 

Current Book of the Month:

 

The Kebra Nagast: Glory of the Kings

 

Reading of the Week 

Kebra Nagast: The Glory of the Kings

69. Concerning the Question of SOLOMON

And SOLOMON turned and looked at the Angel and
stretched out both his hands, and said, "My lord, is the
coming of the Saviour of which thou speakest near or far
off?" And the Angel answered and said unto him, "He will
come three and thirty generations from thy kin and from thy
seed and will deliver you. But ISRAEL will hate their
Saviour, and will be envious of Him because He will work
signs and miracles before them. And they will crucify Him,
and will kill Him, and He shall rise up again and deliver
them, for He is merciful to the penitent and good to those
who are His chosen ones. And behold, I tell you plainly that
He will not leave in SHEÔL His kinsmen of ISRAEL by
whom the Pearl hath been carried."
And when the Angel of God had spoken these words unto
SOLOMON, he said unto him, "Peace be unto thee." And
SOLOMON answered and said unto him, "My lord, I
beseech thee, I would ask thee one question; be not
unheedful of my cry." And the Angel said unto him,
"Speak, ask me thy question, and I will make thee to know
what I have heard and seen." And SOLOMON said unto
him, "Now I am grieved because of ISRAEL, His people,
whom He hath chosen as His firstborn from among all the
ancient tribes of His inheritance; tell me, will they be
blotted out after the coming of the Saviour?" And the Angel
of God answered him again and said unto him, "Yea, I have
told thee that they will crucify the Saviour. And when they
have poured out His blood on the wood of the Cross they
shall be scattered all over the world." And SOLOMON said,
"I weep for my people. Woe to my people! who from first
to last have always provoked their Creator to wrath. I and
those who have been before me are unworthy to have mercy
shown unto us because of the evil of our works, for we are a
faithless generation. Woe unto those who shall pour out
innocent blood, and calumniate the righteous man, and
divide his spoil, and who neither believe on His word nor
walk in His Commandment! Their judgement is waiting,
and their error abideth; great is their punishment. And their
sin is waiting, and it shall never be forgiven to them, and
the sin of their fathers shall be remembered; for their work
was sin, and they shall be destroyed by that which they
themselves have imagined. And woe also unto my soul! for
I who have been honoured shall on my death be treated with
contempt; and I who have been renowned for wisdom upon
the earth shall become dust. In what way is the king
superior if he hath not done good upon the earth to the
poor? Their falling into the grave is the same, and their path
in the deep is the same. Of what benefit (or, use) are we
who are men? We are created in vain, and after a little time
we become as if we had never been created. As for the
breath which we breathe, if it cease for a short time, our
soul passeth away, and if the beat of the spark of our heart
which moveth in our mind passeth away we become dust,
and our friends and acquaintances hold us to be a loathsome
thing. And the understanding of our mind which is above
[in] our heads [is destroyed] when our soul is poured out,
and we become worms and filth; and when the heat of our
body hath passed away we become nothingness and we pass
away like the dissolving of a cloud. What then? To multiply
speech is useless, and the goodliness of the stature is
destroyed, and the strength of kings is blotted out, and the
might of governors is destroyed and is no more found. And
we all pass away like shadows, and when we have passed
away in death our name is forgotten, and the trace of us
cannot be found; after three generations of our children
there is none who will remember our name."
And straightway he turned his face to REHOBOAM his
son, and he said unto him, "O my son, withhold thyself
from evil and do the things that are good, so that thou
mayest find many days upon earth. And do not bow down
to strange gods, and do not worship them, but fear and
honour God only, so that thou mayest conquer thy foes and
thy adversaries, and mayest inherit the habitation of thy
father in the heavens, and also eternal life."
And he said unto him, "Write me in the roll of the Book,
and lay it in the chest." And he said unto ZADOK the
priest, "Anoint my son and make him king. As my father
DAVID, my lord, made me king whilst he was alive, even
so do I make my son REHOBOAM king. And his seed shall
be the salvation of myself and of my fathers for ever,
according to what the Angel of the Lord spake unto me."

70. How REHOBOAM reigned
Then ZADOK the priest took REHOBOAM and made
him king, and he anointed him and performed for him
whatsoever the Law demanded. And REHOBOAM laid a
tablet of wood upon the Tabernacle, and he found it with
the name of his father SOLOMON [written upon] it, and
then they set him upon the king's mule, and said unto him,
"All hail! Long live the royal father!" and the city
resounded with cries, and the trumpet was blown. And
before REHOBOAM could return to his father SOLOMON
died. And they laid SOLOMON in the tomb of his father
DAVID, and they mourned for him with great mourning,
for there was not found his like in wisdom in those days.
And when seven days had passed REHOBOAM made the
mourning for his father to cease. And the people of
ISRAEL gathered themselves together to REHOBOAM,
and they said unto him, "Lighten for us [our] labour, for thy
father made it very heavy in the hewing of wood, and in the
dressing of stone, and in making wagons for bringing down
cedarwood." And REHOBOAM took counsel with the
councillors and the elders of the house of the king, and they
said unto him, "Answer them graciously. For at this present
thou art like a young animal and thy loins are not able to
bear the yoke. And now, speak unto them graciously, and
say unto them, 'I will do for you everything ye wish.' And
when thy hand hath gotten power over them thou canst do
with thy people what thou wishest." And REHOBOAM
drove out the elders and brought in the foolish young men
who had been brought up with him. And he took counsel
with them, and told them of the message which the house of
ISRAEL had sent to him and what the elders of the house of
the king had counselled him to do. And those foolish young
men said unto him, "An aged man giveth the counsel of an
aged man, and the elder giveth the counsel of an elder, and
a man stricken in years giveth the counsel of the man who is
stricken in years, and a young man like thyself giveth the
counsel which appertaineth to youth. As for these men who
are stricken in years, their loins are as tender as those of a
young animal that cannot walk. And as concerning this
matter of which thou speakest, who can dispute the
command of our Lord the King?" And one of them leaped
up into the air before REHOBOAM, and another drew his
sword, and another brandished his spear, and another seized
his bow and quiver. And when they had made an end of
their playing they counselled him, saying, "O our lord, may
we be with thee, and thou with us! Now thy father in
wisdom gave us, the sons of men of ISRAEL who are
learned in the art of war, to grow up with thee that thy
kingdom might be strong after him. O our lord, show not a
timid face to those men, lest they think that thou art weak
and art not able to make war against them and against thine
enemies. For if they see in us an attitude of weakness in
word and in deed, we shall be held in contempt by them,
and they will not give us gifts, or presents, or slaves, or
tribute, and thy kingdom will be destroyed. But address
them with bold words, and speak unto them haughtily,
saying, 'In respect of my father ye say in wood and in stone,
but I will make you to serve me with chains of iron and
with scorpion-whips. For my thin flank shall be stronger
than the thickest part of my father's body, and my counsel is
greater than the counsel of my father who begot me. None
shall diminish for you the labour and the forced service, nay
it shall be increased for you in every particular. And if ye
will not do my command, I will make your cattle my
plunder, and your children shall be captives, and my knife
of slaughter shall consume you. And I will seize your cities
and your fields, and your plantations, and your wells, and
your gardens, and your lands, and your fruit (or, crops), and
I will bind your honourable ones in chains of iron, and your
riches shall [provide] food for my servants, and your
women shall be for the adornment of the house of my
nobles. And I will not alter this my decision, and will not
diminish it, and I will neither make it to be a lie nor to have
no effect; and I will carry it out quickly, and will write it
down for ever. For the whole of this land was given to
DAVID my grandfather for his kingdom, and to my father
SOLOMON after him. And [God] hath given it to me after
my fathers as to them, and I will make you to serve me as
ye served them; and now take counsel and obey me.'"
And thus also did REHOBOAM speak unto the elders of
ISRAEL. And the people all rose up together in their full
number, and they said, "Get back to [your] house[s], O
ISRAEL. Have we none else whom we can make king save
in the house of JUDAH and in the house of BENJAMIN?
We will reject their houses and the men of both of them,
and we will make as our king and governor the man whom
we wish for and in whom our soul delighteth." And they
took up their weapons of war, and fled in a body, and came
to the city of SAMARIA of BÊTH ÊFRÂTÂ, where they
took counsel and were gathered together in a body. And the
house of ISRAEL cast lots among themselves so that they
might make king the man whom they chose from the house
of the father of the man wherein the lot fell. And the lot fell
on the house of EPHRAIM, on the son of NÂBÂT, and
they chose a man from the house of his father, and made
JEROBOAM king. And thus was the kingdom separated
from REHOBOAM, the son of SOLOMON, and there were
left to it only the house of BENJAMIN and the house of
JUDAH his father.
And the word which God spake unto DAVID His servant
was not made a lie, "Of the fruit of thy body I will make to
sit upon thy throne";1 and again He said, "Ordained like the
moon for ever";2 and again He said, "God sware unto
DAVID truly and will not repent."3 He Who reigned on the
throne of DAVID His father was JESUS CHRIST, his
kinsman in the flesh by a virgin, Who sat upon the throne of
His Godhead; and upon earth He granted to reign upon His
throne the King of ETHIOPIA, SOLOMON'S firstborn. To
REHOBOAM God gave only two stems (or, roots); and the
King of RÔMÊ is the youngest son of SOLOMON. And
God did this in order that foolish people might not call us
JEWS, because of SOLOMON and because of
REHOBOAM his son—now God knoweth the heart—and
He did this that they might not imagine such a thing. They
called REHOBOAM "King of JUDAH", and they called the
King of SAMARIA "King of ISRAEL". And of the
generations of REHOBOAM, from REHOBOAM to
’ÎYÂḲÊM (JOACHIM) were forty-one generations. And
there were born to MALKÎ two children, LEVI and SHEM,
the begetter of HÔNÂSÊ. And HÔNÂSÊ begat
ḲALÂMYÔS, and ḲALÂMYÔS begat JOACHIM, and
JOACHIM begat MARY, the daughter of DAVID. And
again ’ÎLÎ begat MALKÎ, and MALKÎ begat MÂTÎ, and
MÂTÎ begat ’ÊLÎ and JACOB, and ḤANNA, the wife of
JOACHIM. And ’ÊLÎ took a wife and died without
children. And JACOB took to wife YÔḤADÂ, the wife of
’ÊLÎ, and he begat by her JOSEPH the carpenter, who was
the betrothed of MARY. And JOSEPH was the son of
JACOB in the flesh and the son of ’ÊLÎ according to the
Law; now God had commanded MOSES that the
ISRAELITES were to marry their kinsfolk, each in the
house of his fathers, and that they were not to marry alien
women.

71. Concerning MARY, the daughter of DAVID
And from this it is evident that MARY was the daughter
of DAVID, and that JOSEPH was the son of DAVID.
Therefore was MARY betrothed to JOSEPH her kinsman,
as it is said in the Gospel, "O JOSEPH, son of DAVID, fear
thou not to take to wife MARY thy betrothed, for that
which is to be born of her is of the Holy Spirit, the Word of
God."1 And there was born of her God, the Word, Light of
Light, God of God, Son of the Father, Who came and
delivered His creation; from the hand of SHEÔL, and from
SATAN, and from death He hath delivered all of us who
have believed in Him, He hath drawn us to His Father and
hath raised us up into heaven His throne to become His
heirs; for He is a lover of man, and unto Him praise
belongeth for ever. Amen.

72. Concerning the King of RÔMÊ-
CONSTANTINOPLE
And we will begin to tell you what we have heard, and
what we have found written, and what we have seen
concerning the King of RÔMÊ. The kingdom of RÔMÊ
was the portion and dominion of JAPHET, the son of
NOAH. And sitting down they made twelve great cities,
and DARIUS built the greatest cities of their kingdoms:
’ANṬÔKYÂ (ANTIOCH), DÎRESYÂ (TYRE?), and
BÂRTONYÂ (PARTHIA ?), and RÂMYÂ (ROMA ?), and
those who reigned dwelt there; and King CONSTANTINE
built CONSTANTINOPLE after his own name. Now the
sign of the Cross having appeared to him during the battle
in the form of stars cut in the heavens, he was delivered out
of the hands of his enemy; and from that time onwards the
Kings of RÔMÊ made their habitation there. And that
DARIUS had many descendants; and from DARIUS to the
days of SOLOMON were eighteen generations. And of his
seed was born a man whose name was ZANBARÊS, and he
made in wisdom a drawing of the astrolabe, and placed stars
therein, and [he made also] a balance (i.e., clock) for the
sun. And be [fore]saw what would come after, and that the
kingdom would not remain to the children of JAPHET, but
would depart to the seed of DAVID, of the tribe of SHEM.
And when he thus saw, he sent a message to DAVID the
King, saying, "Take my daughter for thy son"; and DAVID
the King took her and gave her to SOLOMON his son, and
SOLOMON begat a son by her and called his name
"’ADRÂMÎ". And ZANBARÊS died before [this] and
BALṬASÔR, who was of his kinsmen, became king. And
he lacked male offspring to reign after him upon his throne,
and he was jealous lest the children of his father should
reign after him. And he sent a written message to
SOLOMON the King, saying, "Hail to the greatness of thy
kingdom, and to thine honourable wisdom! And now, give
me thy son, whom I will make king over the city of RÔMÊ.
For I have not been able to beget male children, but only
three daughters. And I will give him whichever of my
daughters he pleaseth, and I will give him my throne, and
he shall be king, he and his seed after him in the city of
RÔMÊ for ever."
And when King SOLOMON had read this letter, he
meditated, saying, "If I keep back my son he will send to
the King of the East, who will give him his son, and that
which I have planned will be made void; therefore I will
give him my son." And he took counsel with his counsellors
of the house of ISRAEL, and he said unto them, "We have
already given our son and our children to the country of
ETHIOPIA, and ISRAEL hath a kingdom there. And now,
so that we may have a third kingdom, the country of
RÔMÊ, I will send thither ’ADRÂMÎS my youngest son.
Hold ye not it against me as an evil thing that formerly I
took away your sons, for it is a pleasing thing to God that
the men of ETHIOPIA have learned His Name, and have
become His people. In like manner, the men of RÔMÊ, if
we give them our children, will become the people of God,
and unto us moreover shall be given the name of 'People of
God', being spoken of thus and called thus: The people of
ISRAEL have taken the kingdom of ETHIOPIA and the
kingdom of RÔMÊ. Give ye your youngest sons as before
[ye gave the eldest], and let those of middle age stay in our
city."
And they rose up, and took counsel, and returned, and
said unto him, "We will speak this matter unto the King,
and he shall do his will." And he said unto them, "Make me
hear what ye would say." And they said unto him, "Thou
hast already taken the eldest of our houses, and now take
the youngest of their children." And he was pleased with
this counsel, and he did for them as they wished. And he set
forward ’ADRÂMÎ his son, who took some of the nobles of
the lower grades of the house of ISRAEL, and the lot fell
upon him in the name of his father SOLOMON; and they
gave him a priest of the tribe of the LEVITES whose name
was ’AKÎMÎḤÊL, and they set ’ADRÂMÎ upon the king's
mule, and cried out to him, "Hail! [Long] live the royal
father!" And all the people said, "It is right and proper."
And they anointed him with the oil of kingship, and
commanded him to keep all the laws of the kingdom, and
they made him to swear that he would worship no other god
except the God of ISRAEL. And they blessed him as they
had blessed DAVID his brother, and admonished
’ADRÂMÎ even as they had admonished DAVID, and they
accompanied him on his way as far as the sea coast.
And SOLOMON the King wrote and sent a letter, saying,
"Peace be to BALṬASÔR, the King of RÔMÊ! Take my
son ’ADRÂMÎ, and give him thy daughter, and make him
king in the city of RÔMÊ. Thou didst wish for a king of the
seed of DAVID my father, and I have done thy will. And I
have sent unto thee his nobles, fourteen on his right hand
and fourteen on his left, who shall keep the Law with him
and be subject unto thee according to thy will."
And they arrived there with the ambassadors of the King
of RÔMÊ, together with much splendour and all the
equipment that was requisite for the country of RÔMÊ. And
they came to the city of RÔMÊ, to BALṬÂSÂR the King,
and they repeated all that SOLOMON had sent them to say,
and delivered over to him his son. And BALṬÂSÂR
rejoiced exceedingly, and gave him his eldest daughter,
whose name was ’ADLÔNYÂ; and he made a great
marriage feast according to the greatness of his kingdom,
and established him over all his city of RÔMÊ. And he
blessed him, for he was noble in stature, and his wisdom
was marvellous, and he was exceedingly mighty in his
strength.
And one day BALṬÂSÂR wished to test his knowledge
in the trying of cases, a man, the possessor of a vineyard,
having come to him and appealed to him, saying, "My lord,
’ARSÂNÎ, the son of YÔDÂD, hath transgressed thy word,
and hath laid waste my vineyard with his sheep. And
behold, I have seized his sheep and they are in my house;
what decision wilt thou come to in respect of me?" And the
owner of the sheep came to the King and made an appeal to
him, saying, "Give me back my sheep, for he hath carried
them off because they went into his vineyard." And the
King said unto them, "Go ye and argue your case before
your King ’ADRÂMÎ, and whatsoever he shall say unto you
that do." And they went and argued their case before him.
And ’ADRÂMÎ asked him, saying, "How much of the
vineyard have the sheep eaten? The leaves, or the tendrils,
or the young grapes, or the shoots by the roots?" And the
owner of the vineyard answered and said unto him, "They
have eaten the tendrils and the branches that had grapes
upon them, and there is nothing left of the vines except the
twigs by the root." And ’ADRÂMÎ asked the owner of the
sheep, saying, "Is this true?" And the owner of the sheep
answered and said unto him, "My lord, they ate [only] the
tendrils with leaves on them." And ’ADRÂMÎ answered
and said, "This man saith that they ate the grapes: is this
true?" And the owner of the sheep answered and said, "No,
my lord, but they ate the blossoms before they had formed
into grapes."



 









 

 

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