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Robbers of Zin

CHAPTER 26

 

The caravan that Yeshua and company are traveling with is attacked by a band of fearsome robbers from the wilderness of Zin. When they threaten Miriam and his children, Yeshua calls forth a blinding, sizzling light, and the ground shakes, immediately subduing the attackers. Then Yeshua approaches the leader of robbers, and the man asks him for forgiveness. He also asks if he can travel with them that he may learn more of Yeshua and his teachings.

 

 1 In the journey of the first day, Ibrahiim sought to speak with Yochanan and said unto him, “Tomorrow, we enter into an area where there are vicious robbers, therefore take heed and warn your friends to be watchful and prepared to defend against attack.”

 2 “What of the Romans?” Yochanan asked. “Do they not patrol these roads? And would robbers be so bold as to attack us so close to Gaza?”

 3 Ibrahiim pursed his lips and let forth a loud breath of air, saying, “The Romans remain within their fortified posts and fear these robbers, for whenever they seek to kill them, it is always the robbers who instead slay the Romans.”

 4 Yochanan looked at Ibrahiim with surprise and asked, “Who are these robbers, and from where do they come? I think you exaggerate for I have never heard of a band of robbers that could defeat Roman soldiers, when all of the Children of Israel and Palestine chaff under their rule.”

 5 Ibrahiim answered solemnly, “There are many robbers along the trading routes, seeking spoils, and most are of no consequence to a well-armed caravan. But those I speak of are the robbers of Zin. They are a mysterious people. It is rumored that they are remnants of the Amorites and live in the mountains of the wilderness of Zin. They are said to be tall and fearsome warriors who eat only the flesh of animals and no grains, but I know not, for thanks to God I have never seen them. But I fear them on this trip, for we do not have enough men to account for all of our animals, and your women and children slow us.”

 6 Then Yochanan went and related to Yeshua and Lazarus the strange story that Ibrahiim had told him. And he said unto them, “I think perhaps he is telling a tale to frighten his unwanted Hebrew guests. Robbers we may see, but I doubt they will be tall and ferocious, more likely underfed, undersized, and sneaking in the night to steal what they can when no one is watching.”

 7 Yeshua shook his head and replied, “Would that it would be so brother, but his fears shall be fulfilled, for on the night of the next day, the robbers he has described shall strike.”

 8 Lazarus was frightened by these words and Yochanan fretful, but Yeshua and Miriam remained calm, and Yeshua said, “Trust in Elohim and be prepared to peacefully deal with the wicked, save they seek to take your life.

 9 Fear not those who can take of your worldly possessions, for they can be replaced and are worth less than you esteem them.

 10 Fear only those who desire to take from the treasures which you store up for eternity or to take your life or that of your family. Against such, release your righteous fury, with calm and meted justice. And when the dust has fallen, remember forgiveness for those who offer sincere repentance.”

 11 After Yeshua’s revelation, Yochanan went and spoke again with Ibrahiim and repeated all the words that Yeshua had spoken concerning the robbers and the night to come. And he said unto him, “Though you are not of the faith of our fathers and may give no value to that which I say, you should know that Yeshua is blessed of God. If he foretells that something shall be, then it is certain that it shall occur.”

 12 Ibrahiim took these words of warning to heart, remembering the letter of his father and the unusual treatment he accorded unto these Hebrews.

 13 Therefore on the next day, Ibrahiim was mindful of the words of Yeshua, and while the Sun was still three fists in the sky, he ordered the caravan to stop for the night at a small grove of six date palms lying in a depression in the desert.

 14 Ibrahiim posted sentries atop the rim of the depression so that they could see a great distance in all directions and warn those below of the approach of any people. He also directed a small wall to be built, completely encircling the encampment from the bulky goods carried by the camels. And inside of the wall, the camels lay down, and at the center, the men encamped.

 15 Then while all but the family of Yeshua were sitting about the campfires, cooking their evening meals, there arose a muted cry from one of the sentries, and before it was clear what was happening, they were surrounded by a band of strangely garbed robbers who had appeared like ghosts in the middle of their camp out of the emptiness of the desert. And so sudden was their surprise appearance that it was but a short fight before all the men in the caravan were disarmed, with some wounded and a few killed.

 16 Yeshua calmly gathered Miriam and the children about him, and they knelt down together as the short battle raged.

 17 And it came to pass that all the men but Yochanan had been subdued by the robbers, but taking the leg bone of a camel, which he had earlier found lying upon the ground, he laid forth with mighty swings and quickly felled three robbers when Yeshua called to him and bade him to fight no more; else, he would lose his life to the thieves.

 18 Thus, it was that Yochanan hesitated for a moment to consider the words of Yeshua, and in that time, he too was subdued by the robbers. Due to his stature and ferocity, they bound him tightly that he could do no more harm. And one of them made ready to kill him, but another made a sign to him and he did not.

 19 Then the robbers began to plunder the caravan and to gather the camels to take with them.

 20 Yeshua, Miriam, Lazarus, and the children remained in a tight group and thus far had not been bothered.

 21 Whispering into his ear, Lazarus exclaimed to Yeshua, “Who are these strange tall men, some with pale faces and hair? I have never seen their like, not in all of Palestine or in any of my travels.”

 22 Upon that moment, three of the robbers approached them. And they spoke in a curious language which none had ever heard.

 23 One came forward and roughly pushed Yeshua and Lazarus to the ground, while another sought out their possessions.

 24 The last grabbed Miriam and began to pull her away from her children, who huddled on the ground, clinging to her leg and crying.

 25 Seeing this, Yeshua stood up quickly, and though his face was as calm as a sea of glass, Lazarus saw a fire in his eyes such as he had never before seen.

 26 Miriam saw it too and began to struggle with the man who held her. She commanded him in a voice of power, “Release me! You know not what you do!”

 27 But the robber did not heed her warning. Suddenly, there was a blinding flash of light, a terrifying sizzling sound in the air, and a deep rumbling and shaking of the ground as if a mighty mountain had fallen. All the robbers and the merchants along with Yochanan and Lazarus tumbled to the earth, blinded by the lightning and frightened by shaking earth and the booming thunder that had reverberated from the clear night sky.

 28 Miriam fell to one knee but then rose and went calmly to her children and huddled with them at the feet of Yeshua, who knelt quietly and embraced them all. It was some minutes before the sight returned to any of the men, and they all remained upon the ground in a stupor.

 29 Then Yeshua walked over to the leader of the robbers and gave him his hand and pulled him to his feet. The man spoke to Yeshua in Aramaic and asked, “Is it you that commands the lightning of the sky and the angry roar of the heavens and the earth?”

 30 Yeshua answered him not as he asked, but said unto him, “I have done nothing of my own, but that which you do here tonight is evil, and it is the power of the Almighty God of Heaven that you have seen and felt. He has had mercy on your soul and sent you this warning to repent of your sins and henceforth do only good with your life.”

 31 And the man was humbled deeply in his heart by Yeshua, and by all, he had seen and heard and astonished that the man he would have harmed offered his hand and would do him no harm.

 32 He fell to one knee before Yeshua and said, “I am Kudar-Iluna. Never before have I seen such things, and by whatever God is, I know there is something more here than the works of men.

 33 I cannot speak for the others, but as for me, I ask you to forgive me for the wrong I have done, for I have known in my heart that it was without honor. You are not as other men, this is plain. Henceforth, if you will allow me, I desire to come with you on your journey and learn more of you and the things you would teach.”

 34 And Yeshua said unto him, “Shed your old skin, be glistening and new, follow me, and I will help you discover the Celestine Light of God that is within you.”

 35 Upon hearing these words, some of the other bandits shouted in disgust, and then silently all of the rest moved away from the encampment and returned into the darkness from whence they had come.

 36 Upon the new day, despite the grumblings of Ibrahiim and the merchants and even Yochanan and Lazarus, Kudar-Iluna still remained in the camp, and he came with Yeshua into Egypt after the caravan had buried their dead and tended to the wounded.

 37 Many in the caravan clamored for Kudar-Iluna to be put to death. And it was only because of the command of his father Ibrahiim to be kind to the Hebrews and only because none had seen Kudar-Iluna kill anyone and only because of his sorrow for his evil that Ibrahiim allowed him to travel with them upon their journey; and then only under the promise of Yeshua and Yochanan and Lazarus that they would be responsible for him and never let him leave their sight.


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