The Household of God
The early history of mankind
- Chapter 173 -
THE SEVEN MUTIERERS FROM THE MIDDAY REGION MOCK SETHLAHEM
When Sethlahem, as a natural eyewitness, had heard these words from the high Abedam he began to suspect something great. His heart was burning and an inner feeling told him: "Truly no man can speak as does this stranger. There must be something extraordinary behind him."
Guided and greatly influenced by this inner judgment, Sethlahem stepped up to the high Abedam in the greatest humility and asked Him:
"Exalted stranger, full of all divine wisdom and also apparently full of divine power, would you accept this small service from me, that I go and bring those to you who are muttering about Jehovah's arrangements without bearing in mind, or at least letting themselves be set right concerning Jehovah, namely, that the eternal, holy God has surely already foreseen from eternity all that has happened, is now happening and will be happening forever and in some regard, where it concerns free man, also decreed it in this way.
"Judging by what already Enoch has faithfully told me about you and by what I have now heard myself of your discussion with Enoch, one word from you will with these mutterers contribute more towards their betterment than a thousand from me.
"These seven are by and large the most stubborn in all the midday region.
"Truly, nothing bad must happen to them, but they should be bettered, yes, bettered they must be.
"If you agree, I will go immediately!" - And the high Abedam answered:
"Sethlahem, I tell you, if you had understood My Word you would also understand that I can do without your service.
"However, since I am a complete stranger to you, you may as well go and do what you wish to do.
"But in case your seven mutterers might not wish to follow you, then you may return here alone without having achieved anything. Amen!"
And Sethlahem immediately went over to the mutterers who were standing about fifty paces from here. When he had reached them, one of them asked, making fun of him:
"Well, by the weight of how many handfuls of stones, have you become wiser?
"Has maybe Enoch thrown light on yesterday's parable about the distant mountains which you did not understand? Or maybe he has introduced you to another talking tiger?
"Yes, yes, with people like you there must always be a talking beast which becomes a preacher of wisdom, for our words are anyway disregarded.
"Look, Sethlahem, it is really a great pity that this peculiar Enoch was not with you during the night of the storm when some hundreds of the finest tigers and other beasts honored us with their presence. Imagine what you could have learnt from these woodland sages with the long tails if Enoch had made all of them speak!
Truly this is going a bit too far in your folly! A talking tiger!
"If this continues by next year also trees and the grass will begin to talk if not even the stones, the brooks and even the sea.
"And in the third year - just believe in it firmly, for that is your motto! - every raindrop falling from the sky will be saying to you: 'Good morning, wise Sethlahem! How did you sleep?' And more of such great crumbs of wisdom.
"Only then will you see and extend your ears considerably and open your mouth wider than a tiger does its jaws when it gently with a single bite devours a bull, and you will say with a wise mien in wonderment: 'What - is - that?'
"Sethlahem, do you not yet see the folly of your dreams of wisdom?
"Look, if from time immemorial, according to Adam who is still living and deserves our belief as the father of all of us - provided that he is the earth's first man, for the earth appears to be larger than that it could initially have been meant for one man only -, old, pious customs existed, why should they be changed as anyway to the truly wise this ancient ceremony is of no importance, except for its venerable historical tradition? If this is abolished, say, what other worth could this veritable children's game have for thinking man?
"Or would, or could, you as a wise man maintain that God had any pleasure in our igniting some wooden sticks in His honor, then staring at the weak flame consuming a slaughtered sheep, perhaps even more stupid than the slaughtered sheep itself?
"Truly, such an extremely stupid conception of the Deity, of Whom to witness, countless stars and suns are burning as an eternal offering, does not give credit to the human soul.
"Tell us, Sethlahem, if you still possess a tiny spark of sane reason, whether you do not agree with me, provided you have not been taught differently by some striped woodland sage. For we are quite aware of what such a bull-eating proof is capable of.
"Do speak now if you are willing and able! Or could it be that you have not sufficiently digested the distant mountains? Or are you unable to open your mouth wide enough?
"Look, we do not possess that kind of ears which must first be tickled by a tigerlike roar to hear your fine new wisdom of Enoch, but for our human ears an ordinary human voice is sufficient. So you may cheerfully open your wise mouth. Amen."
What poor Sethlahem felt during this caviling speech can be easily imagined, especially when one bears in mind that he wanted to brag a little bit and was proud of his experiences. On the other hand he was so impressed by the words of both the stranger and Enoch that he kept looking at the ground whether that might not begin to open up in order to swallow up the great blasphemers.
Therefore he was unable to utter even a single word, but turned away greatly humiliated and hurried back to Enoch and the stranger.