Lectionary Readings for April 5th, Sunday, 2020

Lectionary Readings for April 5th, Sunday, 2020

Holy Memorial Day

Book of God’s Word Chapter 27, Chapter 28

Chapter 27

1. In those days, Pon’yah was king of Oas, and, by title, KING OF THE SUN; KING OF THE
MIDDLE WORLD
; KING OF KINGS; MIGHTIEST OF MORTALS; OWNER OF ALL HUMAN FLESH; RULER OF
THE EARTH
, MASTER OF LIFE AND DEATH!

2. For nearly four years had Zarathustra been absent, and the effect of his preaching in
foreign lands had been to cut off the paying of tribute to the City of the Sun. For which
reason, Pon’yah, king of Oas, had sworn an oath under his own thigh to pursue
Zarathustra, and have him slain.

3. Accordingly, the king had equipped many different armies and sent them in search of
Zarathustra; but I’hua’Mazda led Zarathustra in a different way on the one hand, and sent
spirits to inspire the soldiers to go another way. Consequently, none of the armies sent to
capture Zarathustra ever found him. When he was heard of in one city, and the soldiers
came to that city, he was gone. And so it continued, until now Zarathustra had returned to
the very gates of Oas.

4. Because Zarathustra was the largest man in the world, he was easily known; and from a
description of him, even those who had never seen him, would know him the first time
they laid their eyes on him.

5. Asha had continued with the Zarathustrians; but in consequence of the persecutions of
the kings of Oas, they had been obliged to retire further into the forests and plains and
unsettled regions, where roved the Listians, the wild people. To these the Zarathustrians
were friends, and the Listians came in great numbers, and dwelt near about the
Zarathustrians.

6. After Zarathustra had completed his travels, he returned to the Forest of Goats, in the
first place, to meet his followers, and to rejoice with them for the great light I’hua’Mazda
had bestowed upon them. So, when Zarathustra returned to them, there was great
rejoicing; and there were present Zarathustra’s mother, and many of the Listians who
knew him in his childhood.

7. After many days of rest and rejoicing, I’hua’Mazda came to Zarathustra, saying:
Behold, the time hath now come to go against the city of thy birth. Take Asha with thee,
and I will cause Oas to fall before thy hand.


8. Accordingly, Zarathustra took Asha and returned, as stated, to the gates of Oas; but he
was known at once; and when he demanded admittance, he was refused, because the king
had previously decreed his banishment and death, there being an offer of reward to
whoever would destroy him and bring his skull to the king.

9. The keeper of the gate, whose name was Zhoo’das, thought to obtain the reward, and
hit upon the following plan, saying to Zarathustra: I know thee; thou art Zarathustra, who
art banished under penalty of death. I have no right to admit thee within the city, nor have
I a desire to witness thy sure death. But if thou wilt secrete thyself, till the change of
watch, when I am absent on the king’s reports, thou mayst take thine own risk. But if I
admit thee, I will also be put to death.

10. Zarathustra said: As for myself, I fear not; but I would not have thee put to death on
my account. Where, then, can I secrete myself, till the change of watch?

11. Zhoo’das, the keeper of the gate, said: Within the chamber of the wall. Go thou, and
thy friend with thee.

12. So Zarathustra went into the chamber of the wall, and Asha went with him. And now,
when they were concealed, Zhoo’das called his wife and said unto her: Be thou here,
walking back and forth, that they who are concealed will think it is I. And I will run
quickly to the guards, and they shall come and seize Zarathustra, for whom the reward is
offered.

13. And the keeper’s wife came and walked back and forth; and the keeper ran quickly
and brought the guards, one thousand men, with spears and swords and war clubs and
slings and bows and arrows, and they surrounded the place of the chamber on all sides.
And then spake Zhoo’das ironically, saying: Come forth, Zarathustra, now is the change
of watch!

14. And Zarathustra and Asha came forth and beheld what was done. Zarathustra said to
Asha: The Light is upon me. Go thou with me. No harm shall come to thee. But now is
the time come in which I shall fulfill what hath been prophesied of me in my youth.

Chapter 28

1. So Zarathustra suffered himself to fall into the power of the Sun King; and the soldiers
caused him and Asha to march in their midst to the place of the skulls. And there came
thousands and tens of thousands of people forth to witness the proceedings; for at this
time there were many who were in sympathy with Zarathustra, as well as many against
him.

2. And in order to stay the multitude, the captain of the army called out many soldiers in
addition to those who made the arrest. Others ran to the king’s palace, carrying the news
of his arrest, and the place he had been taken to.

3. The king said to the heralds: Though this man shall die, it is fit that proper judgment be
rendered against him, as an example before all men. Go, therefore, to the executioners,
and command them to bring Zarathustra into my presence, that I may adjudge him to
death according to law.

4. This was accomplished. Zarathustra was brought before the king, who accosted him,
saying:

5. By thy behavior thou art accused before thy king, and I adjudge thee to death. But
that thou mayst be as an example before the world, I will render my judgments before
the heralds, who shall proclaim my words unto all who desire to witness thy death.

6. First, then, thou wert ordered for arrest by my predecessor, and thou deliveredst not
thyself up to my soldiers; neither could they find thee. For which thou art adjudged to
death.

7. Second. Without permission from the KING OF THE SUN, thou hast traveled in foreign
lands, sowing seeds of disallegiance against the C
ENTRAL KINGDOM. For which thou art
adjudged to death.

8. Third. The KING OF KINGS offered a ransom for thy head, and the king’s soldiers were
disappointed in finding thee. For which thou art adjudged to death.

9. Fourth. In thy youth thou threatenedst to overthrow the city of Oas, the CITY OF THE SUN
and failedst to make thy word good, thereby being a teacher of lies. For which thou art
adjudged to death.

10. Fifth. Thou hast cut off the foreign tribute to the rightful OWNER OF THE WHOLE WORLD!
For which thou art adjudged to death.

11. Sixth. Thou hast revived the doctrines of the dark ages, teaching of spirits and Gods,
which things cannot exist, because they are contrary to nature, and contrary to the laws of
the K
ING OF THE WORLD! For which thou art adjudged to death.

12. Seventh. Thou hast taught that there is an unseen Creator greater than thy king; which
is contrary to reason. For which thou art adjudged to death.

13. Eighth. Thou returndst to Oas not openly, but as a thief, and hid thyself in a chamber
of the wall. For which reason thou art adjudged to death in the manner of thieves, which
is the most ignoble of deaths.

14. Therefore, I command the executioners to take thee to the den of thieves and cast thee
therein; and on the morrow, at high noon, thou shalt be hung up by thy feet along with the
thieves, where thou shalt be left hanging till thou art dead.

15. That my judgment may appease thy best friends, what sayest thou against my decrees?

16. Zarathustra said: All the charges thou hast made against me are true this day;
but ere to-morrow’s setting sun I will have disproved some of them. To-day thy kingdom
is large; in two days I will be dead, and thou wilt be dead; and this great city will be
destroyed. Yea, the Temple of the Sun will be rent in twain, and fall as a heap of rubbish.

17. The king laughed in derision, and then spake to Asha, saying: Thou art an old
fool. Go thy way. So, Asha was liberated, and Zarathustra was taken to the den of thieves
and cast therein. And the den of thieves was surrounded by the dens of lions
that belonged to the king’s gardens. And a bridge passed over, and, when the prisoners
were within, the bridge was withdrawn. And no prisoner could escape but would fall
a prey to the lions, which were fed on the flesh of the persons executed according to law.

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