It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

1 Esdras 3, What One Thing Is Strongest?

After a big banquet with a big guest list--from Persia, Media, and satraps from India to Ethiopia, King Darius went to his bedroom. While he was sleeping, three of his bodyguards decided to stage a competition. Each of them would state what one thing is strongest, and the king would richly reward the one whose answer seemed wisest.

Each of the bodyguards wrote his own statement, sealed it, and put it under the king's pillow. The first wrote, "Wine is the strongest;" the second, "The king is strongest;" the third, "Women are the strongest, but above all things, truth is victor."

When the king waked up, he read their statements. He summoned all the nobles to hear the young men read and explain their choices. The first said, "Wine leads astray the minds of all who drink it--king, orphan, slave, free, poor, rich. It makes them forget sorrow and debt. They become bellicose. And when they do sober up, they don't remember what they have done. Is not wine the strongest since it forces people to do these things?"

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