Old Testament Legends eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 100 pages of information about Old Testament Legends.

Now when the people heard it they were very angry and said, “He blasphemeth.  These are the words that Isaiah spake, and they sawed him asunder with a saw of wood.  Let us slay Jeremiah also, but him we will stone with stones.”  And Baruch and Ebedmelech cried out against them, “Do not this great wickedness!” But Jeremiah said, “Be silent, for they shall not kill me before I have delivered to you all that I have seen and heard.  Fetch me a great stone.”  And when it was brought, Jeremiah prayed and said, “O Light of the Ages, cause this stone to appear in my likeness.”  And immediately the stone took upon it the likeness of Jeremiah, and the people began to stone it, believing that it was Jeremiah.  And in the meantime he went on speaking to Baruch and Ebedmelech until he had committed to them all the mysteries which he had heard while he lay in a trance.

Then he arose and stood forth in the midst of the people, and the stone cried out with a loud voice, “O foolish people, why stone ye me, thinking that I am Jeremiah; and behold, he is in the midst of you!” And their eyes were opened, and they ran upon him and stoned him; and his ministry was accomplished.

But Baruch and Ebedmelech buried his body; and they took the stone and set it up over his grave, and wrote upon it, “This is the helper of Jeremiah.”

AHIKAR

In the Book of Tobit in the Apocrypha you will find mention in several places of a man called Achiacharus, who was a relation of Tobit, In the first chapter (verses 21, 22) you read that he was a great officer at the court of king Esarhaddon; and at the end of the book (xiv. 10) you may learn something about his story; for Tobit says to his son Tobias, “Remember, my son, how Aman handled Achiacharus that brought him up, how out of light he brought him into darkness, and how he rewarded him again; yet Achiacharus was saved, but the other had his reward, for he went down into darkness,” Then it goes on, “Manasses gave alms, and escaped the snare that was set for him, but Aman fell into the snare and perished.”

Now of late years the book has come to light which tells the whole history of Achiacharus (or Ahikar, as we shall call him), and you will see as you go on that in the Book of Tobit some mistakes have been made in the names, and that instead of Aman we shall have to read Nadan, and instead of Manasses, Achiacharus.

This is the story of Ahikar.  He is made to tell it himself, and he says: 

When I was a young man I was steward to the great king Esarhaddon, the king of Nineveh.  I was rich, and had great estates and beautiful palaces; I had everything that my heart desired, except one thing:  and that was, a son.  I had no child to comfort me and to inherit my great possessions after me.

Many times did I go to the temples of the gods of Nineveh and offer them sacrifices and gifts and burn incense before them; and I said, “O gods, give me a son, that I may enjoy his company while I live, and when I die he may close my eyes and bury me.  And verily I am so rich that if every day from the day of my death until he died he were to take a bushel of my money and cast it away, he would not come to the end of it before his death.”  But the gods of Nineveh made me no answer.

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Old Testament Legends from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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