31 – John Marries Anhar

Yahia teaches in the nights, Yuhana in the evenings of the nights
Yahia teaches in the nights and says,
“The spheres (and) the Merkabah tremble,
Sun and moon weep,
And tears fall (from) Spirit’s eyes.”

He says,
“John, You resemble a burning mountain
That does not bring forth a blossom in the Earth.
You resemble a dried-up river
in which plants are not planted.
You resemble a desolate house
Which all who see it are afraid of.
The land which has no ruler
Becomes a house which has nothing.
A prophet’s vision becomes an embryo
that is not left behind after you
Commemorating his name.
Who shall equip you?
Who shall give you provisions, John?
Who shall go behind you to the graveyard?”

When John heard this, a tear formed in his eye
- in his eye, a tear formed! –
And he said,
“It would be pleasant to take a wife
And precious to produce sons.
But what if I take a wife and sleep comes,
and lust enflames me,
and I invalidate my nighttime devotional prayers?
What if, being enflamed with lust,
I forget my lord from my mind?
What if lust enflames me,
and I invalidate my devotional prayers all the time?”

When John said these things,
A letter came from the house of Abatur:
“John, take a wife and be established,
And see the world rendered impotent.
The dawn of Monday and dawn of Tuesday –
See your first bed!
The dawn of Wednesday and the dawn of Thursday -
Arise and offer your sublime devotional prayers!
The Dawn of Friday and the dawn of the Sabbath -
See your first bed!
The Dawn of Sunday and the dawn of the day –
Arise and offer your sublime devotional prayers on Sunday!”

Tuesday arrives and Tuesday departs
Tuesday arrives and Tuesday departs
And they see the Earth rendered impotent.

John took a wife
From you, territory of truth.
From the first pregnancy
Handan and Sharat were born.
From the middle pregnancy,
Bihram and Rihmat-Hiia were born.
From the last pregnancy,
Nṣab and Sam and Aṣar-Ziua and Sharat were born.
These three pregnancies occurred within the ruins of Jerusalem.

Yahia opened his mouth and spoke to Anhar in Jerusalem,
“You teach your daughters so that they will not perish
And I – I will instruct my sons to not be hindered. And I…”
Anhar opened her mouth and spoke to Yahia in Jerusalem,
saying to him,
“I gave birth to sons in the world -
I did not give birth to the heart in the world.
If they become disciples, they will ascend to the place of light;
If they do not become disciples, burning fire will consume them.”

John opened his mouth and said to Anhar in Jerusalem,
“When I depart from the Earth,
Tell me, what will you do after me?”

She said to him, “I will not eat and I will not drink until I see you again.”

“Anhar, you spoke falsehood and uttered a deceitful word!
When the day enters and the day departs,
You will eat and you will drink
and you will forget me from your thoughts.
I ask you by the Great Life
and by the dawn of the day whose name is precious:
When I depart from the Earth,
Tell me, what will you do after me?”

She said to him, “I will not wash and will not comb until I see you again.”

“Anhar, you spoke falsehood and uttered a deceitful word!
When the month enters and the month departs,
You will wash and you will comb
and you will forget me from your thoughts.
Then I ask you, Anhar,
by the first bed in which the two of us slept together:
When I depart from my body,
What will you do after me?”

She said to him, “I will not put on new clothes
until I see you again.”

“Anhar, you spoke falsehood and uttered a deceitful word!
When a year enters and a year departs,
You will put on new clothes
and you will forget me from your thoughts.”

She said to him, “How you speak to me, John,
and how my whole body quivers!
When will you depart, and when will you return,
So that my eyes can meet your eyes again?”

“When the living lie down in Sheol
And a bell is hung at the graveyard
And they trace the magic circle in Sheol
And you go out and water the graveyard (i.e. with your tears).
When a bride gets married in Sheol,
and her bridal chamber is laid out in the graveyard.
When the groomsmen spend money in Sheol,
and are repaid in the graveyard.”

She said to him,
“How, my lord, will these things be?
When will the living sleep in Sheol
and a bell be hung at the graveyard?
(When) will they draw a magic circle in Sheol
and go out and water the graveyard?
(When) will a bride get married in Sheol
and her bridal chamber be laid out in the graveyard?
(When) will the groomsmen spend money in Sheol
and be repaid in the graveyard?”

He said to her,
“As you know, these things will not be.
So why did you ask me when I will come back?
I will go and not return.
It is a good day, in which you (still) see me.
If there were going away and returning,
you would not become a widow in the world.
If there were going away and returning,
there would not be orphans in the world.
If there were going away and returning,
there would not be rabbis and teachers in the world.
If there were going away and returning,
there would not be Nasoraeans in the world.”

Anhar opened her mouth and spoke to John in Jerusalem,
“I shall buy you an extravagant dome;
I will assemble a coffin for you in the graveyard.”

John opens his mouth and speaks to Anhar in Jerusalem,
“Why are you buying an extravagant dome,
And assembling a coffin in the graveyard?
Are you indeed confident that I will return,
and that you will say, ‘dust does not fall on him’?
An extravagant dome?
(Instead) go get bread for me!
Give the coffin you will make in the graveyard,
and (instead) go get funeral masses for me, and call out!”

Anhar opens her mouth and speaks to John in Jerusalem
“You will depart and forget me,
and I will be cut off in the place of sinners.”

“If I forget you, I shall forget the enduring dwelling place.
If I forget you, my eyes will not fall upon Abatur.
When I ascend to the house of Life,
your mourning will be in the graveyard.”

And Life be praised.
Life is victorious!

About James F. McGrath

Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature, Butler University.
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One Response to 31 – John Marries Anhar

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