He stuck up for the lowly and the oppressed. He preached a new kingdom of peace and justice. He was crucified but he lives on. You know who I mean… Spartacus!
I’m reading The Gladiators by Arthur Koestler and I’m getting caught up in his rendition of this famous story. He has Spartacus, early on, meet up with an Essene prophet who ended up in Rome. That was the group that wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls and plagiarized the words of Jesus before He was even born. Shocking!
The Essene traces a long line of people who have spoken up for truth and justice for the little guy, starting with King Agis of Sparta, who was hanged, and a bunch of others through the ages who met a variety of grim fates. I wonder why that is? Cui bono — who benefits?
The Essene prophesies as follows: “Neither their silver nor their gold shall save them in the day of the wrath of Y…., but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy.Woe unto them that join house to house and field to field till there is no room, till they possess alone the lands of the earth.
“Woe unto them that decree false laws and take the right from the poor of the people so that these poor may be their prey. Woe for your heads [magistrates] judge for reward, your priests teach for hire, and your seers prophesy for money.
“For he is come, sent by Y…., He who is anointed by the Lord to mend broken hearts, to bring light to the eyes of the blind, to free the oppressed.”
“I never heard of a God that curses like that Y…. of yours,” says Spartacus.
“Prophecies do not count,” says the Essene. “He who receives them counts.”
“He who receives them will see evil days,” says Spartacus.
“Aye,” says the Essene. “He’ll have a pretty rotten time.”
Made me think of Lincoln and Gandhi and Martin Luther King and Benigno Acquino.
This is turning into a heck of a book.