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orion-list Rechabite History - Part 2 of 2

History of the Rechabites (by James H. Charlesworth) - Part 2 of 2
(continued from earlier email)

P. 17:  "And I, Zosimus, went out from my cave with God preceding
me, proceeded forth although not knowing the way in which I was

P. 39:  "Then the elders of the Blessed Ones handed me over to one
of the attendants, saying "Keep him for seven days."  Therefore,
when the attendant received me, he led me away (from them) to 
his cave.  And customarily we sat under a tree providing for
ourselves, for, from the sixth hour until the sixth (hour we
fasted), then we ate...."

P. 41:  "And the whole (Rechabite) clan of those (who were)
there heard concerning me, "A man has come here from the
vanity of the world."  And the whole clan was stirred up, and they
came to see me....Therefore, they were questioning me (concerning)
all things, and I was answering them."

P. 43:  And I became faint in my spirit and body, and I begged the 
man of God who was serving me, and I said "I beg you, O brother,
if some (people) come to see me, tell them that 'he is not here,' so
that I might rest a little...."

[This evokes a dramatic reaction....]

P. 45:  "And the man of God cried out, saying "Woe to me that (the)
story of Adam has been repeated to me.  For .... Satan deceived
through Eve, and this man [Zosimus], through flattery, wishes to make
me a liar.  Although he is here, he told me, 'Lie and say that 'he is not
here.''  Take me away from here, since I shall flee the village.  For
behold, he intends to sow in me seeds of the world of vanity."

P. 47:  "And all the crowd and the elders rose up against me, and they
said, "Go away from us, O man...."  But I lamented with a great lament,
and .... and I cried out to the elders, saying "Forgive me, my lords."
And the elders, ceasing, offered silence."  Then I told them everything
from the beginning until now, and that I petitioned God to come to you,
and he deemed me worthy.  And the elders said, "And now, what do
you want us to do for you?"  And I said to them, "I wish to apprehend
[receive] from you your places-of-sojourning"*  [*P. 15, Th(e) Greek
noun [for...] "administration", eventually also denoted an area of civil
or ecclesiastical administration; it thence became interchangeable with
"place-of-sojourning" (cf. G.W.H. Lampe, ed., A Patristic Lexicon,
pp. 373, 1042; Oxford:  Clarendon Press, 1961, repr. 1968).

[The following is the creation of paradise....]

P. 61:  "Then the king became angry; he placed us in prison.
And we remained (there) throughout that night.  And behold, a
light shone in the cell, and an angel took the roof off of the prison...
and led us out from the prison, and placed us in (the) air, and carried
us to the water of the river; then he said to us, "Wherever the water
proceeds, you proceed also."

P. 63:  "And we walked with the water and with the angel.  Then,
when it carried us to this place, the river became dry, and the
water was lost, and the place was split, and water came up out 
of the abyss.  And he surrounded this country, and a wall of
cloud came and overshadowed the water.  And he did not scatter
us over all the earth, but gave us this country."

[Interesting Vegetarian connection to the Therapeutic...]
P. 65:  "Hear, hear, (O) sons of men, (about) the place-of-sojourning
of the Blessed Ones.  For God placed us on this land; For also we
are pious, but not immortal.  For the land caused most fragrant
fruit to sprout up, and water sweeter than honey comes out from
the trunks of the trees, and these (are) for us food and drink.  And
we pray also night and day, and this is our entire pursuit [Or "whole

[Possible background to Hippolytus or Josephus about
some Essenes who marry and/or have children....]
P. 67:  "Nor are there any of us taking wives for themselves,
(except) until they produce two children.  And after they produced
two children, they separate from each other and are in chastity, not
knowing that they were once in the intimacy of marriage; but as if
from the beginning being in virginity.  One of the children remains
for marriage, and the other for virginity."

P. 73:  "And on your behalf we beseech the Lord, because we
are also from you and from your race; however, God chose us;
and God set us sinless in this place.  And the angels of God dwell
with us through all (the) day, and tell us everything about you, and
we rejoice with the angels on account of the works of the righteous
ones.  But concerning the works of the sinners, we are distressed;
and while weeping, we pray to (the) Lord, that he should cease
from his anger and spare your sins."

P. 77:  "And we also know our time of consummation [Or 
"Perfection"; not death] for there is no discomfort or torment,
nor trouble for our body, nor anxiety, nor sickness; but there is
peace and much tolerance and love.  For neither is our soul
troubled by the angels to depart, for the angels rejoice when
they receive our souls, and our souls also rejoice together
with the angels when they see them."

P. 79:  "Just as a bride receives the bridegroom, thus our
soul receives the annunciation [Or "glad tidings"] of the holy
angels, saying nothing in excess, but only this:  "The Lord
calls you."  Then the soul comes out from the body, and goes
to the angels; and seeing the unblemished soul coming out,
the angels rejoice, and spreading out their robes, they
receive it.  Then the angels bless it, saying "Blessed (are)
you, O soul, for the will of God was fulfilled in you."

P. 83:  "And because we do not have any tool, the angels
of God themselves make the casket for our body.  And
thus , the one who is called by God goes down [into the
casket?], and we all (of us) salute him, from the small to
the great, sending him off and bidding farewell.  And then
the soul leaves the body, and the angels salute it.  And
we see the form of the soul as a form of light [similar
to M. O. Wise's suggestion that DSS scrolls allow for
"holy ones" to become stars], complete throughout
the body without (the characteristic of) the male and
the female."

P. 85:  "Then, while the angels take (it) up, they chant
a song and a hymn, while singing to God; and again
other divisions of angels meet (it) with haste, saluting the
soul which is coming and entering into the firmaments.
And when it has arrived at the place in which it is necessary
to worship God, the son of God himself, with the angels,
receives the soul of the Blessed One [the recently dead
Rechabite soul] and carries (it) to the undefiled father of
the ages."

[Zosimus returns with the tablets written by the Blessed Ones...]
P. 93:  "And an angel of God appeared.... "Come, I shall
lead you to the cave which (will) become (the) habitation of
your body.  For your cave will be a martyrium [a "witness"]
in the desert, a healing for the sick ones who approach, a place
of trial and torture for the demons."  And seizing my hand, he
strengthened me and led me through (the desert) for forty
days into the cave in which I had been inhabiting."

[A personal altar?....]
P. 95:  "And it [the cave? or the altar mentioned next?] became
a table of righteousness, and I passed the night with the angels
of God.  And I placed the tablets which had been given to me
by the holy Blessed Ones upon the platform of the altar which
(was) in my cave."

[And Zosimus dies....]
P. 105:  "And in such conduct ["way of life"] he gave up his soul
to God."

P. 107:  "And I, Kruseous, being one of those in the desert, having
dispatched [published] (the testament), gave (it) to all those wishing
to learn and to benefit.  Therefore, the angels of God carried the
body of holy Zosimus as a precious gift.  And we saw the soul
of the Blessed One lit seven times (brighter) than the sun."

[Mike O. Wise would love this reference to a shining star!]
For private reply, e-mail to George Brooks <george.x.brooks@juno.com>
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