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The Kebra Nagast, by E.A.W. Budge, [1922], at


And the Queen said unto her nobles: "Speak ye now, and swear ye by the heavenly Zion that ye will not make women queens or set them upon the throne of the kingdom of Ethiopia, and that no one except the male seed of David, the son of Solomon the King, shall ever reign over Ethiopia, and that ye will never make women queens." And all the nobles of the king's house swore, and the governors, and the councillors, and the administrators.

And she made Êlmĕyâs and ’Azâryâs (Azariah) the chief of the priests and the chief of the deacons, and they made the kingdom anew, and the sons of the mighty men of Israel performed the Law, together with their King David, in the Tabernacle of Witness, and the kingdom was made anew. And the hearts of the people shone at the sight of Zion, the Tabernacle of the Law of God, and the people of Ethiopia cast aside their idols, and they worshipped their Creator, the God Who had made them. And the men of Ethiopia forsook their works, and loved the righteousness and justice that God loveth. They forsook their former fornications, and chose purity in the camp that was in the sight of the heavenly Zion. They forsook divination and magic, and chose repentance and tears for God's sake. They forsook augury by means of birds and the use of omens, and they returned to hearken unto God and to make sacrifice unto Him. They

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forsook the pleasures of the gods who were devils, and chose the service and praise of God. The daughters of Jerusalem suffered disgrace, and the daughters of Ethiopia were held in honour; the daughter of Judah was sad, whilst the daughter of Ethiopia rejoiced; the mountains of Ethiopia rejoiced, and the mountains of Lebanon mourned. The people of Ethiopia were chosen [from] among idols and graven images, and the people of Israel were rejected. The daughters of Zion were rejected, and the daughters of Ethiopia were honoured; the old men of Israel became objects of contempt, and the old men of Ethiopia were honoured. For God accepted the peoples who had been cast away and rejected Israel, for Zion was taken away from them and she came into the country of Ethiopia. For wheresoever God is pleased for her to dwell, there is her habitation, and where He is not pleased that she should dwell she dwelleth not; He is her founder, and Maker, and Builder, the Good God in the temple of His holiness, the habitation of His glory, with His Son and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.

And Mâkĕdâ, the Queen of Ethiopia, gave the kingdom to her son David, the son of Solomon, the King of Israel, and she said unto him, "Take [the kingdom]. I have given [it] unto thee. I have made King him whom God hath made King, and I have chosen him whom God hath chosen as the keeper of His Pavilion. I am well pleased with him whom God hath been pleased to make the envoy of the Tabernacle of His Covenant and His Law. I have magnified him whom God hath magnified [as] the director of His widows, and I have honoured him whom God hath honoured [as] the giver of food to orphans."

And the King rose up and girded up his apparel, and he bowed low before his mother, and said unto her, "Thou art the Queen, O my Lady, and I will serve thee in every thing which thou commandest me,

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whether it be to death or whether it be to life. Wheresoever thou sendest me I will be sent, and wheresoever thou orderest me to be there will I be, and whatsoever thou commandest me to do that will I do. For thou are the head and I am the foot, and thou art the Lady and I am thy slave; everything shall be performed according to thy order, and none shall transgress thy commandment, and I will do everything that thou wishest. But pray for me that the God of Israel may deliver me from His wrath. For He will be wroth—according to what they tell us—if we do not make our hearts right to do His Will, and if we do not readily observe all His commands in respect to Zion, the habitation of the glory of God. For the Angel of His host is with us, who directed us and brought us hither, and he shall neither depart from us nor forsake us.

"And now, hearken unto me, O my Lady. If I and those who are after me behave rightly and do His Will, God shall dwell with us, and shall preserve us from all evil and from the hand of our enemy. But if we do not keep our hearts right with Him He will be wroth with us, and will turn away His face from us, and will punish us, and our enemies will plunder us, and fear and trembling shall come to us from the place whence we expect them not, and they will rise up against us, and will overcome us in war, and will destroy us. On the other hand, if we do the Will of God, and do what is right in respect of Zion, we shall become chosen men, and no one shall have the power to treat us evilly in the mountain of His holiness whilst His habitation is with us.

"And behold, we have brought with us the whole Law of the kingdom and the commandment of God, which Zadok the high priest declared unto us when he anointed me with the oil of sovereignty in the house of the sanctuary of God, the horn of oil, which is the unguent of priesthood and royalty, being in his hand.

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[paragraph continues] And he did unto us that which was written in the Law, and we were anointed; Azariah to the priesthood and I to the kingdom, and ’Almĕyâs, the mouth of God, keeper of the Law, that is to say, keeper of Zion, and the Ear of the King in every path of righteousness. And they commanded me that I should do nothing except under their advice, and they set us before the King and before the elders of Israel, and all the people heard whilst Zadok the priest was giving us the commands. And the horns and the organs were blown, and the sounds of their harps and musical instruments, and the noise of their outcries which were made at that time were in the gates of Jerusalem. But what shall I tell unto you, O ye who were present there? It seemed to us that the earth quaked from her very foundations, and that the heavens above our heads thundered, and the heart trembled with the knees."

Next: 88. How he himself related to his mother how they made him King